A Plan for Alberta

Download a copy of A Plan for Alberta - Ending Homelessness in 10 years here.

The Alberta Secretariat for Action on Homelessness

In late 2007, the Alberta government embarked on a 10-year initiative to address homelessness in the province. On January 23, 2008, the Government of Alberta announced the establishment of the Alberta Secretariat for Action on Homelessness (the “Secretariat”).

The Secretariat was given a mandate to develop a 10-year provincial strategic plan outlining “a comprehensive, co-ordinated and sustainable approach” to ending homelessness – including goals, timelines and financial requirements.

Rather than a task force or committee, the Secretariat was established as an agency of the Alberta government, intended to not only develop but also to lead implementation of the provincial plan. To this end, the Secretariat was instructed to develop and coordinate new initiatives to address homelessness, such as prevention strategies, research programs, and the creation of a homeless information management system.

The Secretariat was instructed to work with municipalities and communities throughout the province, and to support the development of community plans for action on homelessness.

Gathering input from communities

To inform the development of the plan, members of the Secretariat visited the seven major cities of Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat.

Through these visits, the Secretariat learned about the unique challenges each community is facing in regards to homelessness.

The Secretariat spoke with Albertans working in homeless-serving systems, who described the roles they thought the Alberta government should play in supporting and coordinating action to address homelessness on a province-wide basis.

Secretariat members also met with representatives from municipal governments and community-based organizations who are involved in the development and implementation of community plans and initiatives to address homelessness.

The Secretariat reviewed existing action plans on homelessness that have been created by Alberta communities, those of other Canadian cities, and those of states and cities in the United States. It also reviewed research and literature regarding homelessness, including key elements that are common to successful plans to address homelessness.

Homeless Plan Wins National Excellence Award

A 2011 Canada Award for Excellence has been presented to Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs for Housing Starts: Year One of Implementing the Provincial 10-Year Plan to end Homelessness. The Certificate of Merit award was presented recently in Toronto and was accepted by Human Services’ Director of Homeless Cross Ministry Initiatives Barry Bezuko. The awards recognize excellence within the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. To date the plan has resulted in over 4,400 homeless people being taken off the streets in Alberta and a total of 1,933 housing for the homeless units being developed.

For more information about Excellence Canada (formerly the National Quality Institute), go to

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