April 9, 2020

Weekly Community Update Re: COVID-19

This week, our community has made enormous strides in our coordinated response to COVID-19. This work isn’t easy, but as Calgarians, we can all be very proud of how we’re pulling together.

Our Current Needs:

  • New towels – we are critically low on this item, learn more here
  • Men and Women’s underwear – we are critically low on this item, learn more here
  • All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including surgical masks, gloves and gowns, learn more here
  • Staff – we are urgently recruiting for several key operational positions, please share with your network or apply online at calgarydropin.ca/careers

Summary of What We’ve Done to Date

*New* Week of April 9th Update:

  • We’ve assisted nearly 200 people move to the TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC).
  • The TELUS Convention Centre is a satellite shelter for assigned DI clients only – it is not a drop-in shelter.
  • Meals, bathrooms, showers and coffee are available.
  • The curfew is 9 p.m. and there’s designated smoking areas 24/7.
  • Through the generous support of our community partner CUPS, we welcomed a lead physician who will be supporting health services at the DI.
  • With gratitude, we congratulate the Calgary Homeless Foundation, The Alex, and CUPS with the opening of the city’s assisted self-isolation site for the homeless population and have developed processes to support our clients who may require access to these spaces.
  • We cancelled our Kindness Open fundraiser, previously scheduled for mid-June.

Week of April 2nd Update:

  • We partnered with Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) for our second satellite shelter funded by the Government of Alberta. This 24/7 space will shelter up to 300 men (no women) and will allow us to reduce our main shelter capacity by 50%.
  • We launched our Medical Volunteer opportunity on our website.
  • We made it mandatory that all clients and staff wash their hands or use hand sanitizer each time they enter any DI operated building (i.e. main shelter, 2507, TELUS Convention Centre, donation centre, Sundial, Greenview Rise, and Bridgeland Manor).

Week of March 26th Update:

  • We opened our 24/7 satellite shelter for 56 people.
  • We began screening clients for symptoms before they enter the building at our front gate, this is another preventative measure to make sure we don’t have an outbreak in the shelter. This is why our gate is currently closed.
  • We gained the support of Safeworks, CUPS, Alberta Health Services and several volunteer medical professionals. (Thank you!)
  • We limited our drop-in and meal service program to people who sleep at the emergency shelter only.
  • We changed our overdose and emergency response protocol to prohibit the use of bagged valves, rescue breaths, chest compressions and other high-contact CPR actions. Staff are to put on PPE, administer Naloxone and call 911.
  • We hired more than 60 staff in various departments, and we continue to recruit.

Week of March 20th Update:

  • We increased our cleaning schedule prioritizing high risk areas.
  • We closed non-essential programs and services to decrease the amount of people in our buildings and re-purpose staff to priority services.
  • We cancelled external volunteer programming for all opportunities.
  • We adjusted our donation program and acquired C Can containers to quarantine donations before they’re in circulation.
  • We put hand-washing stations throughout the building thanks to a generous donation from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC).
  • We designated an observation wing on 4th floor for current clients with suspected symptoms of COVID-19, they wait in this space until their tests results come back.


For more information, please contact us:
Phone: 403-852-0470
Email: communications@thedi.ca