In this case, the real solutions are cheaper! The financial case for Permanent Supportive Housing

When the real fixes are cheaper than bandaid solutions, why would we choose to stick with bandaids? Edmonton’s most vulnerable citizen is her homelesss neighbour.  These (our brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents, sons and daughters lost to the street) must journey daily from soup kitchen to drop-in to emergency shelter with long walks all dayContinue reading “In this case, the real solutions are cheaper! The financial case for Permanent Supportive Housing”


Understanding and Responding to Nimbyism (Not in My Back Yard)

As cities all over North America work to provide low-income households a safe and affordable home, they face numerous persistent barriers.  These include the high cost of land, the search for funding for development, policy and zoning, and a very human challenge: Nimbyism in the local community. Here’s a story to illustrate the challenge ofContinue reading “Understanding and Responding to Nimbyism (Not in My Back Yard)”

Working in my Community, Part Two

So you’re interested in working in your community…  As you begin, consider the following insights from those involved in community development work. Before you dig into this session, please ensure you have read part one in this series: Working In My Community; Part One Part Two Focus: Let’s find our way forward carefully, and make sure weContinue reading “Working in my Community, Part Two”

Working In My Community; Part One

So you’re interested in working in your community…    As you begin, consider the following insights from those involved in community development work. Look before you leap!  What do you see? “Imagine that my neighbours only saw me by the the empty half of my glass.  He’s the old guy with heart problems…   How wouldContinue reading “Working In My Community; Part One”

Unravelling an Unwelcome

  This past month, in October 2018 we witnessed a very negative letter from an anonymous person in St. Albert to a family of Indigenous neighbours. These words showed up at this family’s door causing enormous hurt and pain, and prompting widespread condemnation across the whole Edmonton Area.   Let’s call it ‘an unwelcome.’ AContinue reading “Unravelling an Unwelcome”

How the Dutch do Affordable Housing

“The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and has a very expensive housing market.  And yet, it also provides one of the best examples in Europe of quality, well-integrated affordable housing. What can Canada learn from their example?” The Dutch have been at this a long time.  Initial efforts toContinue reading “How the Dutch do Affordable Housing”

Finding Home in Bonnie Doon; Iris Court’s consultation story

Iris Court’s journey into existence was not an easy one.  Their initial effort to set up in the McCauley community was rebuffed as local neighbours, objecting to an already heavy concentration of services and social housing in their community, took the development to court to stop it. But lessons were learned from that experience, particularlyContinue reading “Finding Home in Bonnie Doon; Iris Court’s consultation story”

PSH Feature: Iris Court; Schizophrenia Society of Alberta

“Imagine a radio playing in your head, and it never shuts off.” “Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects 300,000 Canadians.    …Interfering with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others, schizophrenia impairs a person’s ability to function to their potential when it is not treated. Unfortunately, noContinue reading “PSH Feature: Iris Court; Schizophrenia Society of Alberta”

PSH Feature: Balwin Place

Supportive Housing for Heavy Users of Service In April of 2018, Edmonton celebrated the grand opening of a new place of home and healing for twenty-five of her most vulnerable citizens.  First opening its doors to new tenants in late 2017, Balwin Place is an example of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), which marries stable housing to staffing andContinue reading “PSH Feature: Balwin Place”

PSH Feature: Hope Terrace

Hope Terrace is Supportive Living for people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) FASD is a brain injury that can occur when an unborn baby is exposed to alcohol.  It’s a lifelong disorder with effects that include physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities. These can vary from mild to severe. (Source:; FASD) According to AshleyContinue reading “PSH Feature: Hope Terrace”