2015-2016 Annual Report


Together as Calgarians, we acknowledge that our community is experiencing incredibly difficult times. The downturn in the economy has affected us all. Regularly we hear stories about how these economic challenges are affecting local businesses, and our population as a whole.

At the Alex, our history and experience of serving those who are struggling allows us to be responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable. We continue to coordinate health, social and community programs for those who need it most.

We are also seeing incredible opportunity to grow as an organization — to reach even deeper into the community using the strength of our team to meet our growing needs — one client and one story at a time. We are now, more than ever, able to use our resources and our people to find creative solutions to preventative health care. These new ideas can build a stronger, more sustainable community.

We believe working together is key.  We embrace a model of community health care so our clients receive the right type of care from the right provider at the right time. Our street-level health centres and buses help our clients build long-term relationships with our health system. We continue to find new ways to move forward with this model of community health care – to bring people out of isolation and work collaboratively for optimal health and support.

The Alex takes action to expand services to meet new and emerging needs in our community. We have just opened our Community Food Centre to address food insecurity, poor health and the social isolation associated with hunger and poverty. We also mobilized immediate medical and dental support for Syrian refugee families arriving in our city.

We are thankful our donors have continued to stand by our side and beside the members of our community that need our services the most. We continue to hear heartfelt stories of hope and optimism from our clients. Stories of how the Alex, its programs, services and people are taking action toward changing Health and changing lives. Thank you for your support.

–  Shelley Heartwell, CEO
The Alex

YOUTH: Reclaiming the Lives Kids Deserve

The Alex Youth Health Centre provides a safe and supportive space for youth to address their needs with the help of our caring and trust-inspiring team. We invite youth aged 12-24 from all variety of backgrounds into our friendly, relaxed atmosphere to access a variety of free services on a drop-in basis. Upholding the principles of non-judgment, compassion, and confidentiality, we guide youth in the process of reclaiming their lives, working through challenges, and cultivating healthy and successful futures.

Our Youth Health Bus brings health care directly to youth who may otherwise face challenges accessing these services. Visiting 8 schools per week on all regular school days, including exams, we make it easy for youth to access the care they need. Staff on the bus use a holistic, compassionate approach to provide physical, emotional, psychological and social support for youth.


identify as aboriginal

visits to Youth Health Services


do not have a permanent place to call home

HEALTH: A Community of Healthy Individuals

The Alex believes in preventative care in an open, judgement-free environment. Our Community Health Centre is a welcoming space for vulnerable Calgarians of all ages to meet with doctors, nurses, and psychologists, (as well as nutritionists, chiropractors, and massage therapists and more). We build on-going relationships with our clients and are never just “one issue, one visit.” Our staff take the time to really understand our patients, and develop treatment plans that work.

Our Seniors Health Centre serves low-income seniors with complex health and social needs. We break down the barriers of social isolation, and address chronic disease management with gentleness, humour and caring.  Our goal? Increase the well-being and quality of life of seniors by providing quality, one-on-one, comprehensive care.

Our Community Health Bus is compassion on wheels. We travel to in-need locations across Calgary visiting homeless and street-connected clients, providing important medications, screenings and testing, for many who have been without a family doctor for years.

visits to all Alex Health Centres


Bus clients do not have a family doctor

visits to our Breastfeeding Clinic

HOUSING FIRST: An Investment in our Community

The Alex is a key partner in Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Homelessness is a harsh reality in Calgary, and, given the right circumstances, it can happen to anyone. Our clients face complex issues related to poverty and trauma, including mental health and addictions challenges. Our program model, referred to as Housing First, puts a roof over the heads of our clients first and foremost, providing the necessary safety and security needed to begin the long path to recovery and housing stability.

Our Pathways to Housing, HomeBase, and Abbeydale programs all offer different approaches to the same goal: ending homelessness, and ensuring lasting change for our clients.  What they all have in common is a dedication to wrap-around care, putting medical and psychiatric help within easy reach, providing vocational and recreational supports, building a community of care, and moving people from surviving to thriving.

avg. cost to house an individual at HomeBase

avg. cost to the public for every homeless individual

  • HomeBase clients with physical health issues 70% 70%


Alex clients exit programs and remain housed

  • Abbeydale clients reporting a brain injury 70% 70%

Dental Health Bus: Restoring Confidence in Low-Income Kids

Focused on restoring the dental health of Calgary children, the Dental Health Bus meets both the preventative and urgent dental needs of children and youth from low-income households. Lack of access to affordable dental care places lower-income families in the position of choosing between paying rent or getting treatment for themselves and their children. We take action because we know that untreated dental illness often leads to chronic pain and lowered self-esteem, causing compromised performance in school and the overall quality of a child’s life.  We provide dental care at no cost to these families because we know that when we change a child’s oral health, it changes their entire life.

clients seen


decay found in 25% of children

clients with decay

Community Food Centre: Good Food is Just the Beginning…

Opening in 2016 The Alex Community Food Centre joins our growing family of preventative programs through a national partnership that has seen proven results connecting people with healthy foods and food education.

Through free programs including healthy meals, community kitchens and gardens, education programs for kids, peer support, civic engagement activities, and public education, the Community Food Centre aims to increase physical and mental health and community connections, and engage people in meaningful social change


Keep in touch with our quarterly newsletter!

The Alex

#101 2840 2 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2A 7X9
CRA# 13282 4905 RR0001


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