A Hand Up – Emergency Funding

The Cause

For low income and isolated seniors, everyday life can provide significant challenges. They often don't have the financial flexibility, social support, or emotional ability to cope, especially when faced with a crisis or unexpected circumstance. They often get locked into a cycle of despair and desperation, which in turn affects their physical, mental and emotional health. While some seniors have resources and can afford to pay for the help required, Calgary Seniors is here for those who require extra care and support.

The Calgary Seniors Emergency Fund allows us to intervene and provide crisis assistance for medications, food and household supplies, as well as housing, utilities and transportation for seniors who have no other options.

Referrals for the Emergency Fund come to us from our volunteers, our social workers, and other agencies. Each application is thoroughly reviewed and references are checked. Our staff also ensures that ongoing supports are in place for the client that addresses their future sustainability. Often a small amount of assistance is enough to prevent a much larger crisis.

Who Will it Benefit?

The seniors who are in crisis and require some short term support will be the primary beneficiaries. While the number may seem small, the overall impact of being able to provide assistance has much longer term results. Client A was provided with emergency funds to pay for a damage deposit for an apartment and to purchase some basic household and kitchen items. Receiving support was crucial in allowing Client A to start his new journey without financial stress or worry about getting into debt. He felt secure in new, stable housing and could enjoy the small delights in life such as having a cup of tea on his balcony. Client B had been without her needed medication for a number of weeks. Calgary Seniors was able to provide emergency funds to cover the cost of her medications, without which she most likely would have ended up in hospital.

The secondary beneficiaries are the staff and volunteers who work with these vulnerable seniors. Knowing there is a way to assist them in their time of need brings satisfaction to them.