Last night the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) held its annual Fundraiser. This year, the Premier’s Half-Time Show was a collaboration between CHF and the Calgary Stampeders. We are half-way through Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, and the Stampeders have crossed the 50 yard line towards their goal of winning the 2013 Grey Cup.
For both organizations, it is a long and winding road to get to the goalposts. It’s hard. Filled with bumps and hurdles, the unexpected and the unknown.
And still, we keep moving forward, keep forging on. Defeat is not an option. Giving up not on the agenda.
Last night, I stood with the 250+ guests in attendance and celebrated the work done to date, and acknowledged the work yet to come.
Sometimes, in the midst of the fray it’s hard to see the goal posts, it’s hard to know that every step on the journey matters. Which is why, sometimes, it’s important to take a time out and say, Hey! We’ve come a long way. Let’s not miss the markers on our path, let’s not forget to say, Job well done, so that we can tweak, redirect, and focus all our energies on the job ahead.
It matters. Every game. Every time out. Every win. Every loss. Every drop of the ball. Every completion. Every touchdown. Every point marked up on the score board matters. Because, at the end of the season, one team will win the Grey Cup. One team will cross that finish line and hoist the giant silver cup and celebrate their achievement. The dream is, the Stampeders will be that team.
And, in 2018, it will matter even more to the people we serve because, for CHF and all the agencies working towards ending homelessness,every step. Every win. Every move forward matters in their lives.
Homelessness is not okay. One single person homeless on our streets means, we dropped the ball. We lost the play.
We are just over half way there. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. There’s still much to build and create and get done if we are to achieve our goal and cross the finish line.
Looking back on the first five years of the Plan, it’s easy to see where we’ve fumbled, where we’ve dropped the ball, where we’ve missed a play. And, while we may not have a scoreboard flashing out wins over losses, we do have markers of our success that also show where we’ve picked up the ball and gained yards, where we’ve intercepted a play and turned the tide of the game towards our finish line of having the resources and programs and system of care in place that by the 2018 no one entering a shelter will stay longer than 7 days before being redirected back home.
The game is on!
Like the Stampeders who make every play count, we have to be on top of our game every step we take. We can’t afford to falter. We can’t afford to sit on the side lines and wait for the ball to come to us. We have to be on the streets, under bridges, in the shelters, in every nook and cranny of our city lighting the path for everyone to come home.
Because no matter
We celebrated and raised funds (nearly $200,000!) and recommitted last night to the road ahead. It matters that we are carrying this ball, it matters what we do every day towards reaching the goal posts of ending homelessness because, lives depend on us every step of the way.