MEDIA RELEASE OCT 9th 2018

For Immediate Release 

Oct. 9, 2018 

Blood Tribe Family and Community Support Services participates in first Rural Homelessness Estimation Survey 

Count led by Alberta Rural Development Network is one of the largest coordinated rural homelessness data collection projects ever completed 

Oct. 9, 2018 — The Blood Tribe Family Community Support Services (BT FCSS) is participating for the first time in the Rural Homelessness Estimation Count. BT FCSS’ participation in the Count is funded by the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s (CHF) Innovation, Capacity building, & Enhancement (ICE) grant. Federal funding from Homeless Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding has allowed Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) to lead communities involved in conducting the rural homelessness estimation count (RHEC). 

“Due to various factors such as socioeconomics, housing shortages, addictions, and stable funding sources, the Blood Tribe community has faced many challenges to ensure all community members have access to necessities and or proper housing,” said Rick Tailfeathers, Director of the Blood Tribe’s Administration Communications Team. “The survey will assist the BT FCSS in establishing a baseline of data addressing many areas that pertain to our community needs. The data will also be the initial piece of information for the Blood Tribe to assist in developing a community profile and key tool to that will help to identify gaps within the existing community resources and the needs of the individual community members.” 

The BT FCSS and Moses Lake Shelter staff will be conducting the Rural Homelessness Estimation Survey throughout the month of October. There is a total of 21 communities participating in this provincial count. Fourteen communities are directly funded by a federal grant and the remaining 7 are participating through their own funding sources. The count is one of the largest coordinated rural homelessness data collection projects to be completed anywhere in the world. 

“Alberta leads once again. This count marks the first partnership between CHF, ARDN, and BTFCSS together in mission to end homelessness,” says Victoria Ballance, Vice President, Stakeholder Relations of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. “This Count will provide critical data to identify areas of greatest need, to better focus targeted interventions and supports which helps to ensure that people have the right resources at the right time to prevent and end the experience of homelessness in their lives.” 

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“We have long known that homelessness is a serious problem in rural and Indigenous communities, but hard data has been lacking,” says Dee Ann Benard, Executive Director of the Alberta Rural Development Network. “With this project, we will be able to put some real numbers on this issue, so we can do a better job of addressing homelessness where it is, rather than forcing individuals to move to larger cities in search of supports and services.” 

With the dedication from our Chief Council and the members of our Committee, funders, staff and volunteers, this initiative demonstrates the collective priority to assist various First Nations within the Blackfoot Confederacy who are determined to make a difference with homelessness with in their communities. 

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About The Blood Indian Reserve 

The Blood Indian Reserve is located in Southern Alberta and is the Largest First Nation in Canada. The total population of the Blood Tribe is nearing 14,000 with estimated 9,000 members living within the community of the Blood Tribe. 

About The Moses Lake Shelter 

The Moses Lake Shelter is located on the Blood Indian Reserve was established in 1996 to provide shelter and other community based services for those individuals in need. The Moses Lake Shelter is a program under the management of the Blood Tribe Family & Community Support Services (BT FCSS), and is a department of the Blood Tribe Administration. 

For more information, please contact: 

Rick Tailfeathers 

Director, Administration Communications Team 

Blood Tribe 

Email: ricktf@bloodtribe.org 

Phone: 403-308-0760 

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