Calgary’s 10-year plan to end homelessness will play a pivotal role as the province continues to formulate a plan of its own, said Alberta’s minister of housing and urban affairs.


Yvonne Fritz told a Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon yesterday the province intends to synergize homeless initiatives in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer in developing its own five-year plan.


“Affordable housing and homelessness has never, ever affected business so directly,” said Fritz, noting Alberta is competing with Saskatchewan for skilled labour and housing figures prominently in the contest.


Fritz also outlined a request for proposal that would open up funding for non-profit organizations with nearly $1 billion in initiatives the province has been unrolling to fill the affordable housing gap and aid the burgeoning ranks of the homeless.


Calgary Homeless Foundation president Tim Richter said he’s optimistic about the province’s direction, noting getting homeless folks off the streets will hopefully create an atmosphere where the root causes of homelessness can be addressed.

“The services that go with the housing are a critical component.”