Engaging Vulnerable People

Every day our clients wake up fully aware of the unspoken fear, avoidance, and stereotypes they will face once they set out in public spaces. Nobody makes eye contact with them. People cross the street or change seats on transit to avoid being too near to them.

No feeling that can match that level of loneliness and isolation. And nothing can prepare someone for the dehumanizing sense of visible invisibility it projects onto their world.

But what, if anything, can be done to change it?

In order to help the public feel more comfortable co-existing with homeless men and women in their communities, the Calgary Drop-In Centre has partnered with the City of Calgary, the Downtown Community Association and a number of local non-profit organizations to create the Engaging Vulnerable People workshop.

Over this three hour course, participants learn about the causes of homelessness and the resources available to those going through it. We break down common myths and misconceptions by providing a glimpse of what life on the streets looks like. And we offer practical skills and knowledge that empower people to not only co-exist with homeless men and women in their community, but interact with them meaningfully, using compassion, empathy, and crisis intervention techniques when necessary.

The Engaging Vulnerable People workshop is particularly valuable for anyone who lives or works in the Downtown Core, or who has thought about volunteering their time with a homeless-serving organization. It is has been especially well received by new recruits with the Calgary Police Service and EMS — many of whom have reported the incredible difference it has made in improving their interactions with homeless populations.

Session Information

3 hour sessions (tour included) are available
1.5 hour sessions are also offered

Sometimes, those who disrupt the most,  who yell the loudest, are those who need our love the most.



of Calgary Drop-In clients regularly work

Calgary households are one pay cheque, or crisis, away from homelessness