Distress Centre at SORCe

Community Support

Partner Spotlight

We are pleased to spotlight our wonderful partners, Distress Centre at SORCe! 

SORCe (Safe Communities Opportunity & Resource Centre) is a multi-agency collaborative that connects people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, to programs and services that can help to address the barriers to stable housing.    

Distress Centre is one of the collaborating agencies providing crisis support, counselling and referrals to programs and agencies for further assistance. They are a Calgary Food Bank partner offering Mobile Hampers to those facing homelessness in Calgary, while also doing so much more! We feel fortunate to be able to share the resource of food with organizations that help address the root causes of food insecurity in our city.  

We interviewed Candice Giammarino, the Director of Programs at SORCe, to gain some insight into their work after they recently celebrated their 10th anniversary!  

Tell us about your organization

Distress Centre Calgary is here for people going through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Distress Centre provides 24-hour crisis support, professional counselling, youth peer support and referrals and navigation support in collaboration with 211 and through our Coordinated Entry program.  

Distress Centre Calgary’s Coordinated Entry program provides multiple programs and services at SORCe so people looking for support only have to go to one location. All aspects of the program use a housing-focused approach to support people experiencing or facing homelessness. This program directly provides supports beyond system navigation & referral to holistically support housing, health, finances, and community connection.   

    Tell us about your role at your organization: 

    As the Director of Programs at SORCe. My role involves facilitating the seamless integration of these exceptional programs within the multi-agency collective space. The true magic occurs as these programs work together to encompass and support the well-being of the people they serve.  

      What does success look like for the people you work with?    

      The issues surrounding mental health, addiction, and homelessness are complex, and success varies for each person and family. Whether it’s finding housing, securing a doctor, completing taxes, or obtaining a new job, we define success as the outcome of feeling heard, having choices presented to them and then the support to follow through on that person’s choice.  

        Why do you do the work that you do?   

        This is a powerful question, as we all face challenges every day in the work we do. Constantly understanding and revisiting the why is fundamental. I believe it’s about fostering a sense of home, facilitating healing and recovery, and finding our role in empowering the community to achieve this.  

        What have you learned from your work in communities that you would like other people to know?    

        When I started working in the sector, I used to talk about writing a book called ‘1000 Conversations I never thought I would have.’ After years of reflection, I think that at its core that book would be about capturing the privilege I have had in witnessing human resilience amid profound unexpected challenges, and the humility to have someone sharing that story with me. I’ve learned from those I’ve worked with about approaching life with kindness, recognizing the impact of even a small gesture, and understanding that it takes community to make the most profound impact.  

        Tell us about the winter warming centres: 

        The Community Coordinated Extreme Weather Response (CCEWR) provides cold weather emergency support to people who need a place to warm up, including overnight shelters, daytime services, and warming stations. 

        CCEWR is now in its third year, illustrating the remarkable impact of community collaboration. The initiative, led by the City of Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Homeless Foundation, supports learning, collaboration, and coordination, as many organizations in Calgary work together and with the community to provide support to vulnerable citizens during the coldest months of the year. 

        Last year, Distress Centre Calgary provided a social support team to partner at the Journey Church in the NW. This winter we returned there, opening the doors on November 1st. We are also partnering with Parachutes for Pets in the SW and will open the doors there on December 4th. These warming centres offer a safe space for warmth and access to basic needs. The staff provide system navigation, resource referral and supportive housing assessments, including the development of housing plans. 

        Journey Church (https://www.myjourney.church/warming-centre10307 Eamon Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3G 5H2 

        Parachutes for Pets (https://www.parachutesforpets.com/)  6120 1a St SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0G3 

        Additional cold weather emergency supports for Calgarians experiencing homelessness: 


          More Information

          Learn more about Distress Centre’s Coordinated Entry program: 


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