Established in 1990, the SHARP Foundation is a Calgary-based non-profit organization. We are committed to providing a continuum of care including housing, healthcare, and support to those individuals infected and affected by HIV. The SHARP Foundation works in effort to prevent homelessness and fulfil the need for more acute health care facilities in Calgary for those with HIV.
From 1993 until 1998 the SHARP Foundation was providing primarily palliative care, with the focus on controlling symptoms and maximizing the quality of life in a caring, non-judgemental environment. Since the mid-1990’s significant breakthroughs in the management of the HIV disease have occurred, and the medical community has become much more effective in treating people with HIV infection. Today, with advancements in medications and treatments, people with HIV infections are living longer lives however they are still marginalized within our community. With more effective treatment options in mind, SHARP has modified its objectives to help residents live longer and more sustainable lives instead of primarily acting as a palliative care facility.
We currently operate five programs located in Calgary residential neighbourhoods. Residents are provided with affordable housing and individualized support to meet their housing, medical, and psycho-social needs. After stabilizing an individual’s medication regimen we provide programs to improve her/his quality of life.
The SHARP Foundation’s care, housing programs and services are targeted to individuals living with HIV coming from diverse communities or backgrounds (i.e., socio-economic, behavioural/lifestyle, religious/spiritual and cultural characteristics). Client history and/or lifestyle choices may include: homelessness, street involvement, illicit drug use and / or criminal activity. In some cases our clients may contact us directly for assistance, but in most cases they are referred by other agencies including Southern Alberta Clinic, Calgary Drop-In Centre, HIV Community Link and Safeworks.
We have a non-discriminatory policy supported by our community service partners to respond to specific ethnic and cultural populations such as aboriginal persons and African refugees.