Blog: It’s time for an upgrade: Improving emergency shelter standards in Edmonton

Written by Brett Lambert, Community Engagement Coordinator For more than a decade, ending chronic homelessness has been a high priority for the City of Edmonton. The city was praised for reducing its homeless population in half, from 3,200 in 2009 to 1,600 in 2019. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this progress has experienced a major...

ESPC in the news: Susan Morrissey talks about why we must prioritize housing in the municipal election

On October 5, 2021, our Executive Director, Susan Morrissey, appeared on CBC with Jordan Reiniger, the executive director at Boyle Street Community Services to discuss why tackling the issue of homelessness should be prioritized during the municipal election. "There are many people who are losing their housing now because they are losing their...

Vital Signs 2021 – Making Ends Meet in Edmonton

Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. We also focus on individual issues, Vital Topics, that are timely and important to Edmonton. This Vital Signs report provides a birds-eye view of how Edmontonians are...

Blog: Child Care and Municipalities

Written by Luis Murcia, ESPC Volunteer In Alberta, child care is generally regulated by both provincial and federal governments, and rarely by the municipalities in which the facilities are located. Issues around child care often cannot be addressed by municipalities, such as long wait-lists, lack of coverage, affordability, and impacts from...

Research Update: Show Me the Money? Cash-for-Care Benefits to Support Aging at Home in Canada

A review by Shawna Ladouceur The ongoing pandemic has brought to the fore the abysmal state of institutional long-term care (LTC) in Canada. As evidenced by the devastation, the existing system will not suffice and will certainly not hold against the advancing wave of aging Canadians. While a complete overhaul of institutional care is necessary,...

Research Update: The Future of Non-Profits in Edmonton

A review by Rebecca Jansen Calls to change how the non-profit community functions have existed at the fringes of the sector for decades. However, COVID-19 has rapidly revealed historical injustices within the sector, bringing calls for change to the forefront. In response, many leaders have answered these emerging needs by spearheading...

Op-Ed: Child Care Should Be a Priority in Edmonton’s Civic Election

Note: this op-ed was originally published in the Edmonton Journal on September 23, 2021. By Jeff Bisanz, Jennifer Fischer-Summers, and Brett Lambert Child care became a ballot box issue for the federal election. With the Liberals proposing a national early learning and child-care plan as part of the 2021 federal budget, a lot is at stake. The...

Research Update: The Numbers Game: How Lack of Race-Based Data Collection During Covid-19 In Canada Has Highlighted Systemic Racism

A review by Jayme Wong The Royal Society of Canada established its Task Force on COVID-19 in April 2020 to “provide evidence-informed perspectives on major scientific challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19” (p. 2). The result of the task force’s findings is Impacts of COVID-19 in Racialized Communities, a collection of eleven essays...


The Edmonton Social Planning Council is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan social research organization, with registered charitable status. Our focus is social research, particularly in the areas of low income and poverty. ESPC is a source of knowledge and expertise on social issues within our community.

ESPC focus centers on topics related to low-income and poverty. Our work includes undertaking research into the nature and magnitude of social issues in our community; public awareness and understanding of current social issues; being an independent voice in the community; encouraging public participation in the development of social policies, and the implementation of programs.

The strength of our voice and our role in the community is based on the support of people and organizations concerned about social issues. ESPC conducts research and analyzes data, produces reports, provides recommendations, is a depository of information, provides public education, conducts focus groups, does presentations, and works collaboratively with other social agencies.

We are dedicated to encouraging the adoption of equitable social policy, supporting the work of other organizations who are striving to improve the lives of Edmontonians, and educating the public regarding the social issues that impact them daily

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Check out our Social Well-Being Tracker

We are currently tracking 75 social well-being indicators for Edmonton and region.

Latest Posts and Publications


News and Announcements

"Perhaps the biggest change is a renewed focus on housing, @HopeMission's Tim Pasma said. He noted that there will be a housing hub right in the centre of the building for teams to work directly with those in the shelter spaces." #yeg #yegcc #homelessness
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Join us on October 5th at 10 AM for the launch of our 2021 Vital Signs publication, produced in partnership with @theECF.

The theme for this year's issue is "Making Ends Meet in Edmonton."

Register in advance here: #yeg #yegcc
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"The organization started the Evolve program that same year. It offers a range of services, including counselling, mentoring, addiction support, help navigating the justice system and basic needs like employment, food and housing." #yeg #yegcc
"Supportive housing is one of five priority areas @doniveson has outlined in a series of transition memos he posted this week to help guide the next council." #yeg #yegcc #yegvote #housing
A helpful rundown of where the mayoral candidates stand on public transportation issues. #yeg #yegcc #yegvote #yegtransit
"The project was started in Alberta by team leaders Cindy Zhang and Tom Zhao from Calgary. Zhao said they’ve connected with food banks across the province including @yegfoodbank, @CalgaryFoodBank and @ReddeerFoodbank." #FoodSecurity
"The research team reported that one in 10 Edmontonians — or nearly 120,000 people — experience poverty, and it’s more likely for women, racialized individuals, Indigenous people, single adults and single parents." #yeg #yegcc
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In an excerpt from our latest issue of the Research Update, volunteer reviewer Rebecca Jansen assesses the state of non-profit organizations in Edmonton and how they can be reimagined for the future. #yeg #nonprofit @EdmCVO
The lower income quintiles have a smaller share of the wealth, so they live with higher rates of poverty and fewer opportunities. This makes it even more difficult for them to access post-secondary education.
More information related to cost of living:
"@myunitedway does make a fundamental difference in our community. That act of stewardship only happens if citizens respond and are mindfully willing to share their resources." - @camtait #yeg #yegcc

Recent Publications

fACTivist Newsletter

Confronting Racism with Data: Why Canada Needs Disaggregated Race-Based Data

2020 Annual Report

80th Anniversary

We’re pleased to open up our Lunch and Learn sessions to other non-profits as a way of introducing agencies and their incredible programs and services to other community members.

For those interested in participating, we would love to host you at a future event. Please direct any inquiries to Brett Lambert.To stay informed about future Lunch and Learns and ESPC news and announcements, subscribe to our email newsletter.

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