History

Since 1989, CUPS has been helping people overcome the challenges of poverty and attain brighter futures. Here’s a brief overview of our history

1980’s

Several downtown churches meet to develop an ecumenical project to provide referral services and basic medical care to those arriving at their doors in search of help.

1989

The Canadian Bible Society building on 7th Avenue SW was leased to house the Calgary Urban Project Society and CUPS is officially founded. Referral services and health care were provided entirely by volunteers, including Christian doctors and doctors from the University of Calgary.

1991

CUPS starts a controversial needle exchange program which offered clean needles, instruction and education on the prevention of HIV infection.

1993

First CUPS/Calgary Stampeders Kickoff Breakfast Fundraiser.

1994

CUPS purchases, renovates and relocates to 128 7th Avenue SE  (a former bar and the Calgarian Hotel), a convenient location for the population served. The CUPS Family Centre (now Family Development Centre) is created to help the increasing number of low-income families who were requesting CUPS’ services.

1996

First CUPS Christmas Wreath Campaign.

1995

CUPS begins a Shared Care Mental Health program and opens a volunteer (dentists, hygienists, assistants) run Saturday Dental Clinic opens, offering extractions to adults.

1996

CUPS launches its Community Outreach program with support from the City of Calgary.

1997

Calgary Street Talk is born. This monthly newspaper tells the story of poverty in Calgary and the world.

2002

To address the root causes of poverty, CUPS continues to expand its range of services and converts another former bar on 11th Avenue into the One World Child Development Centre.

2008

CUPS launches the Rapid Exit program to provide affordable housing during Calgary’s economic boom.

2010

CUPS discontinues Calgary Street Talk.

The success of the CUPS One World Child Development Centre leads to the launch of its Social Emotional Early Development (SEED) program.

2012

CUPS main site relocates to 1001 10 Ave SW in September. The new space is three times larger than CUPS previous building and two thirds of the building is used for CUPS programs.

This allows for a 30% increase in programs and services, including the addition of the Pre-Natal to Three Child Development Centre (based on CUPS’ SEED program) for at-risk families expecting children or with children up to 35 months. CUPS becomes one of two sites in Canada that offers the internationally recognized Nurturing Parenting Program.

CUPS housing program, Rapid Exit, is able to leave its satellite office and becomes three separate housing programs: Key Case Management, Graduated Rent Subsidy and Community Development.

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