By Sophia Lopez, December 12 2022—
Local charity, HomeSpace, is launching its first annual Adopt-a-Door fundraising campaign to tackle the rising costs and affordable housing crisis Calgarians are currently facing.
HomeSpace’s mission is to help people in Calgary create more affordable housing as inflation continues to raise costs for common necessities — making it harder for the city’s vulnerable communities to avoid homelessness. The Adopt-a-Door fundraiser makes its debut this year, with the hopes of it being able to combat the affordable housing crisis during the holiday season.
The charity owns 847 units of housing in over 33 properties throughout Calgary, and serves more than 900 residents. In an interview with the Gauntlet, the communications advisor at HomeSpace, Emily Campbell, discussed the reason why HomeSpace thought it was necessary to start up this campaign.
“Inflation is increasing costs, so if we’re going to keep building, we’re going to have to do some fundraising so that we’re also able to upkeep the units that we have,” Campbell explained. “We can’t have people living in poor conditions, so it’s important to us that the housing that we provide is good, safe, comfortable and appropriate for our residents.”
HomeSpace explains that supporters can donate based on the cost of service they want to provide for a low-income household. This means that donations collected can go to smaller fixes such as replacing a light fixture to completely renovating a unit. Campbell says that all donations no matter the size help.
“[For] people who are financially comfortable, I do encourage you to donate to the project,” she said. “But even more, we’re asking people to share with their communities, and explain why affordable housing is important for you and your community and how it impacts everyone.”
This year especially, it has been very difficult for many of the University of Calgary student community to find affordable housing for the academic year. Campbell believes that this fundraiser affects everyone equally, including students.
“We have a lot of partners from lots of different social serving agencies, from family shelters to youth shelters, and everyone is full, which is a really scary prospect,” she said. “So affordable housing is top of mind for a lot of Calgarians, I’m sure it is for students who do face financial precarity while they’re trying to get through school.
“If you can see that you’re regularly paying more than 30 per cent of your income for the housing that you’re in, you’re no longer in affordable housing,” Campbell continued. “Anything more than 30 per cent of your income is considered unaffordable.”
HomeSpace’s recent downtown conversion project, the Neoma building, is Calgary’s first office-to-affordable-housing which opened in late September. This project took over a vacant office tower and now offers 82 units of affordable housing, along with an Inn from the Cold emergency shelter and transitional housing for families facing homelessness. With Adopt-a-Door, HomeSpace hopes to continue working on projects that help out Calgarians.
“If you want to support affordable housing and you want to support the mission of HomeSpace — which is that housing is a human right and everyone in our community deserves a home — then you can either donate, speak to your elective representatives, or like and share our content on social media to really get the word out.
“Calgarians have never needed affordable housing more than right now,” concluded Campbell.
To learn more about Adopt-a-Door and how to donate, visit www.homespace.org/adopt-a-door.