I'm at the University of Calgary today talking to colleagues about homelessness, social housing, and social return on investment. Calgary is an interesting setting because a few years ago, the city declared its intention to "end homelessness in 10 years."
These sorts of ambitious goals are great at generating attention to problems of poverty, but I always worry what it means to say you have "ended" a complex social problem. I do hope that Calgary ends homelessness, but one always has to be careful that the underlying causes of poverty are addressed. Otherwise, the socioeconomic system just produces more poor people, but with a different manifestation of poverty.
Calgary is doing great work in this area, and one of the reasons I'm here is to learn from the people leading the effort. Check out the Calgary Homeless Foundation to learn more about what is happening here.