This month, the Calgary Police Foundation accomplished its 9th year of keeping Calgary youth safe from crime and victimisation. We do not do this alone. We do this with the support from the Calgary Police Service, agency partners and by uniting supporters of the Calgary Police Foundation. As Spring was beginning in Calgary, no-one could have known what a tumultuous journey was ahead for all of us.
The Calgary Police Foundation is a registered charity that supports, and funds education, early intervention and prevention programming designed to reduce the risk of youth becoming involved in crime or being a victim.
Right now, as we prepare for the re-launch Alberta plans to get underway, we know that there is still a long and uncertain road ahead. Across the globe, we had to unite and come together to learn how to reduce the threat to our lives and minimise the impact on our economies using only a road map left by our ancestors. It is heart-warming to see the strength of Calgarians who stand by the Calgary Police Foundation and the Calgary Police Service, and who put aside their own challenges placing the well-being of our most vulnerable youth first.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed donations, items, information and resources to help us support our youth at this time. We truly appreciate your generosity and community spirit. Ongoing support helps us to meet the charitable elements of the Programs which are not funded by the public purse and which includes provision of aid that would not otherwise be available to those receiving assistance through prevention, education and intervention Programs delivered by CPS.
Our goal has always been to help youth reach their full potential and for tomorrow’s generation to grow with independence and safety. The Programs provided to Calgary’s youth provide interventions for those who have many risk factors associated with criminal behavior such as substance abuse, limited attachment to school, associating with negative peers, violent and aggressive tendencies and early contact with justice system. Many of the youth we support have low literacy rates, poor parental supervision, mental health issues, unstable housing and low academic achievement.
Those issues did not go away during the pandemic and if anything, the risk for criminal behaviors increased as youth were without the full range of wrap around support structures provided through the Programs due to school closures and physical distancing requirements. It was tough but with the compassion, kindness, and perseverance that exists within the Calgary community we were able to adapt and reach those most at risk at the right time.
In the last few months with support from our donors we have been able to provide grocery cards, department stores gift cards, laptops, sports equipment, bicycles and stay safe at home activities kits including resources to help tweens and teenagers maintain mental health.
A unique and new initiative funded by the Calgary Police Foundation is the Family Navigator, a resource we have put in place for the months of June, July and August for the benefit of the children, youth and their families who are currently supported by the Calgary Police Foundation funded programs. The primary role of the Family Navigator is to assist families in accessing information and connecting them to community services and supports that are available in their area. For many, accessing and understanding support available can be overwhelming and we wish to alleviate this burden.
We recently distributed 300 Calgary Care Boxes packed full of essential items with something for all the family to help them over the summer months and this included our customised Pocket Hug, a small token to send a message to the youth they are not alone, and we are here for them. Planning is also underway for a school back pack drive in August targeting Indigenous youth.
We also want to thank our partners at the Calgary Police Service who can continue to prioritise their efforts to keep our communities safe while providing ongoing support to the youth and their families. We believe the youth crime prevention, education and intervention Programs delivered to the community by the Calgary Police Service are best in class and provide a blue print model for police services across Canada to follow. We are very proud of the CPS for showing us the positive impact early intervention can have on the lives of our youngest citizens and if you are able to, I encourage you to show your support to the most vulnerable children and youth through the Calgary Police Foundation monthly giving program, Promising Futures. Your commitment to Promising Futures monthly giving program sends a strong message to our Calgary youth, it tells them “we are there for you” and I know with your support, we always will be.
On behalf of those we serve, thank-you.
Brain Ferguson, Chair of the Board
Calgary Police Foundation