Having a home is basic to stability, leading to wellness and resilience.

However, having a home is often not possible for people who experience mental illness because most of the specialized housing is transitional, attached to residential treatment programs, and often segregated.

At Community LAMDA, having a home in the community often results in a feeling of having family. Friendships are formed and care is freely given and received among the tenants.

LAMDA FEATURED IN Avenue Magazine:

“Four established affordable housing projects show what willpower, resources and a targeted plan can achieve”. – Jaelyn Molyneux”

To read the full article click here


Dr Mary Dumka  (photo by Char Woodman)

Founded in 1987 by psychiatrist Dr. Mary Dumka, Community LAMDA Society is a registered charity overseen by a volunteer operational board of directors.

LAMDA provides residential accommodation & support services to adults with severe & persistent mental illness. Our contribution to the Calgary community is steady and reliable and we are determined to explore its untapped potential for growth.

As we look into the future, LAMDA’s priority is to maintain our effective practices. LAMDA’s supportive housing model is remarkably successful, and we are committed to sustaining our uniqueness and autonomy.


LAMDA buildings are owned by Calgary Housing Company who is responsible for building operations and rent. Our services are partially funded by Alberta Health Services.



Dr Dumka cuts the Anniversary cake.      (Photo Char Woodman)


Sunny skies, congenial company, so much food and a celebratory atmosphere contributed to making our 30th Anniversary BBQ in June 2017 a great success!

At Bonavista Park, tenants, staff and the Board welcomed and renewed friendships with families, supporters and partners, former Board members and staff. A highlight of the event for everyone, especially LAMDA tenants who know her, was the opportunity to socialize and reminisce with LAMDA founder, Dr. Mary Dumka.

We are grateful to all volunteers who helped with our celebration.




A second event in July 2017 celebrated the official completion of the restoration and upgrading of the Mission apartment building. The 30 year partnership between Calgary Housing Company and Community LAMDA Society to provide affordable, supportive, permanent housing was also recognized. 

Mission July 2017


The event was held on site under a Heritage tree, and hosted by Calgary Housing Company. Guests  included Mission tenants, LAMDA staff and Board members, community agencies, Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice, Alberta,  Kent Hehr, MP for Calgary Centre, and Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi.


The improvements to the building have added 30 years to its lifespan, and signify the provincial and city governments’ commitment to affordable housing initiatives and restorations. The Mission tenants and staff who lived and worked on site through the months of renovations are now able to enjoy the benefits. Our thanks to Calgary Housing Company for their collaboration with staff and tenants before and during this project. Mission looks beautiful!


The LAMDA Board of Directors is an operational board overseeing the day-to-day provision of accommodation and support for tenants of the two apartment buildings.

VICE PRESIDENT: Iris Penwarden
TREASURER: Faye Knudson
SECRETARY: Chandy Megaw

Donna Michael (Past President)
Svetlana Shklarov
Bernadette O’Connor
Joan Perkins
Gareth Jones
Emily Hilton
Fadel Arab
David M Barer
Elizabeth Dobrovolsky
Jason Field
Mark Zipprick


To provide staff-supported, affordable, apartment-style homes as a foundation for stability and wellness for adults in Calgary who experience chronic mental illness, particularly schizophrenia.


To increase the level of independence and self esteem of people living with mental illness by providing services that will strengthen their natural support network, including family and friends.



According to Calgary Homeless Foundation, nearly 3,000 people in Calgary experienced homelessness in January 2018. People with mental illness are among the most vulnerable and often need support to exercise their basic right to have a safe home.

One of the reasons for LAMDA’s exceptional success (as evidenced by low hospital readmission rates and stable tenancy) is we provide safe and permanent homes, not a temporary residential treatment facility. We see the role of a person in supportive housing is one of a tenant, not a client; the tenant “carries the keys” and is in control of decisions about his or her own lifestyle.


Community LAMDA provides staff-supported, affordable, apartment-style homes for adults in Calgary who experience chronic mental illness. The Mission site has 30 single-occupancy apartments and the Killarney site has 16 two-bedroom apartments. Overall, LAMDA serves a total of 62 people.

Tenants receive support from two staff members, who are Independent Living Support workers (ILS workers). The support workers are experienced professionals whose role is to help sustain community supports for the tenants, to make sure their housing is well organized and safe, and to ensure that the tenants’ independence is safeguarded and enhanced.  The ILS workers at both locations work Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with occasional evenings for activities.

The Independent Living Support Worker supports the tenants by:

Acting as a liaison for tenants’ individual mental health service providers.

Offering social, leisure, educational, health promotion and skill development activities.

Facilitating various activities to help tenants develop and maintain routine skills such as personal hygiene, meal planning, grocery shopping, household maintenance, money management and transportation.

Promoting and facilitating tenant involvement in leisure and community activities. Tenants’ general meetings are held monthly to discuss and suggest activities of interest.


Working with the tenants’ families, case managers and support teams from Alberta Health Services mental health clinics, day programs and hospitals.

Assisting tenants with completion of AISH and rent review forms as well as filing of income tax returns.

Communicating with Calgary Housing on an ongoing basis regarding tenant concerns, rent review forms, apartment inspections and maintenance issues.

Maintaining contact with AISH workers regarding tenants’ financial concerns and AISH review forms.

Supporting tenants’ involvement at Schizophrenia Society, Potential Place, Calgary Association of Self Help and Canadian Mental Health Association.

Providing tours of the facilities and presentations of the LAMDA services. 


2018: The Cohen Foundation has generously provided us with $1000.00 to update the furniture in the communal areas of our tenants’ apartment buildings. These spaces are heavily used, and the comfort and attractiveness of these surroundings encourages social interaction and activity participation. One of our LAMDA tenants has painted a poster acknowledging the Cohen Foundation’s gift and our appreciation. The posters are hung in the common area of both Mission and Killarney buildings.  Thank you from the tenants and the LAMDA Board.

LAMDA is fortunate to have active Society members, tenants and friends who supported and participated in our May 2018 Casino. The proceeds will benefit our tenants by creating diverse activities and recreational pursuits. We are greatly appreciative of the help you have given us and look forward to more fun in the future!


Those interested in living in Community LAMDA can be referred by a Health Care Professional involved in their care. Individuals or family members may express interest through the case manager who completes and submits an online application to Alberta Health Services Regional Housing. To contact please call (403) 955-6376.

After screening for suitability, qualified applicants are forwarded to the LAMDA staff who request an interview with the potential tenants. Initial contact is made with the Health Care Professional/Case Manager as continuous involvement is a requirement for the tenants living in Community LAMDA.

Potential Killarney residents also meet with the proposed roommate and are interviewed with the roommate present, to ensure the mutual agreement to share the apartment.

Once the Community LAMDA staff members interview and screen prospective tenants, Calgary Housing Company reviews the application to ensure eligibility requirements for the community housing program are met.

Exclusion Criteria: current substance abuse, current dangerous behaviours, current suicidal ideation, and personality disorder as primary diagnosis.


Individuals with current diagnosis of severe and persistent mental illness whose symptoms have resulted in a significant level of disability.

Individuals who qualify for AISH/CPP or other pensions.

Individuals whose symptoms have affected functioning in one or more major area of life and could result in a significant and persistent disability without ongoing support.

Individuals whose symptoms have not yet affected their functioning in major areas in life, but would likely result in a loss of ability to function in one or more areas without ongoing support.

Individuals who are adults aged 18 to 65.

Individuals who have a case manager.


While our resources are limited to serving only 62 people, there is an increasing need in the community for homes of this type. With appropriate resources and sufficient development time, Community LAMDA has the capacity to meet the needs of more people.

Currently, LAMDA is funded by Alberta Health Services to cover the cost of two full-time support workers, as well as the costs of on-going expenses and some social activities that tenants cannot afford otherwise. For example, we have a small stipend to support tenants’ education, and we cover group trips to museums, the zoo, movies, and Stage West plays.


You can contribute to Community LAMDA’s potential for growth.


Charity Registration # 891438640RR0001

Tax receipts are issued for donations of $20.00 or more.

The Treasurer of Community LAMDA,

#100, 316-20th Ave SW Calgary, AB T2S 0E5

Thank you in advance for your support!


The Board invites you to consider demonstrating your support of LAMDA by purchasing a lifetime LAMDA Society membership with entitlements and benefits.

For a fee of $10.00 you will become a  General Member of the Society and receive notice of any Special Meetings as well as our September Annual General Meeting (AGM). At these meetings you have the right to speak to and vote on agenda items – including the election of our Board of Directors and Officers.

As a General Member you are eligible to be nominated for election to the Board at our AGM. It is also your right to look at the Society records, minute book and financial statements made available to all members at the AGM. General members may request an electronic copy of our Community LAMDA Society By-laws.

Social Events: The Board annually hosts two social events for the tenants: a summer BBQ and, in December, a Christmas Party with dinner and music. LAMDA tenants may invite family and friends. Staff and Board Members work together to organize these events and the Board contributes food and preparation time. You will be invited to attend with the purchase of a ticket – $10.00 for the BBQ and $18.00 for the Christmas dinner. We appreciate your consideration of this purchase as all our available funding goes into daily operations and activity programming.

We encourage you, as a General member, to take advantage of meetings, fund raising activities and social events to meet LAMDA tenants, staff and Board.

Membership fees can be mailed to:

The Treasurer of Community LAMDA,

#100, 316 – 20th Ave SW,

Calgary AB T2S 0E5




Contact: Cristina
Phone/Fax: (403) 242-7740
Email: cristina_lamda@shaw.ca
Mailing Address: 103, 1920 29th Street SW Calgary, Alberta T3E 2J8


Contact: Jarek
Phone/Fax:(403) 228-2625
Email: jarek_lamda@shaw.ca
Mailing Address: 100, 316 20th Ave SW Calgary, Alberta T2S 0E5