Distress Centre Calgary

Suite 500, 999 8th Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1J5
CEO: Robyn Romano
Board Chair: Chantal Milloy

Charitable Reg. #:10702 1024 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 3/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 89 cents are available for programs.

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About Distress Centre Calgary:

Distress Centre Calgary is a 3-star charity. It has fair demonstrated impact, meaning Charity Intelligence has found its programs to have below average demonstrated impact and results. The charity has low overhead spending and is financially transparent.  

Founded in 1970, Distress Centre Calgary (DCC) provides 24/7 crisis support to people in need. It also connects people with mental health resources when needed. In F2022, DCC responded to 144,958 contacts. 

In F2022, the Crisis Support program received 38% of spending. People can call, text, or email the Centre for help at any time. Crisis topics include mental health, self-injury, abuse, and addiction. In F2022, Distress Centre Calgary made 63,084 crisis connections. The Centre also helped with 1,168 emergency situations. 

In F2022, 211 calls used 31% of spending. The 211 number provides an alternative to 911, especially during mental health crises. The number connects callers with health and government services. In F2022, these calls made 47,950 connections. After, 96% of callers said they would use the line again. 

In F2022, the Safe Communities Opportunity and Resource Centre (SORCe) received 14% of program spending. The Centre connects people facing homelessness with housing and financial services. In F2022, SORCe helped 30,084 families. Its financial programs gave out $1.7 million. 

In F2022, the Counselling program used 7% of spending. Counselling handles short-term crises. Each person can complete up to six free sessions. In F2022, the Centre completed 2,157 sessions. After, 95% of people felt that they had better coping strategies. 

In F2022, the Basic Needs Fund (BNF) received 5% of program spending. The fund financially supports people through emergency situations. Each family can receive help from the fund once. In F2022, the Basic Needs Fund gave $290,850 to 328 clients. 

In F2022, the last 4% of spending went towards the ConnecTeen program at Distress Centre Calgary. The ConnecTeen program allows youth to discuss their problems with other youth instead of adults.

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Results and Impact

In 2016, Distress Centre Calgary conducted an evaluation with SiMPACT Strategy Group. It found that the 24/7 crisis support produced $7.42 in social benefit per dollar spent on the program. DCC creates social benefit when it stops a suicide attempt or handles a situation without emergency services. 

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of PWRDF’s results and impact. 

Charity Intelligence has given Distress Centre Calgary a Fair impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent. 

Impact Rating: Fair

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Distress Centre Calgary received total donations of $4.1m in F2022. Administrative costs are 2% of revenues less investment income. Fundraising costs are 10% of donations. This means overhead costs are 12%. For every dollar donated, 89 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. DCC has $3.1m in reserve funding that can cover almost 5 months of program costs at the F2022 level. 

This charity profile is an update which was been sent to Distress Centre Calgary for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on May 23, 2023 by Clive Stevens. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.1%1.8%2.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 9.3%8.7%5.6%
Total overhead spending 11.4%10.5%8.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 39.3%44.9%55.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,0704,5774,344
Goods in kind 291070
Government funding 4,1504,1164,017
Lotteries (net) 113064
Special events 000
Investment income 391412
Total revenues 8,3998,8148,437
Program costs 7,8947,3596,323
Administrative costs 178154229
Fundraising costs 379400241
Other costs 1257836
Total spending 8,5777,9916,829
Cash flow from operations (178)8221,608
Capital spending (1,364)(873)207
Funding reserves 3,1053,3063,479

Note: Ci adjusted for deferred donations, affecting Canadian donations by ($664k) in F2022, ($165k) in F2021, and $479k in F2020. Ci adjusted for deferred government funding, affecting such funding by ($19k) in F2022, $369k in F2021, and ($140k) in F2020. Government funding may be understated for F2022 as the charity’s T3010 filing was not available at the time of this original update. Ci adjusted for deferred lottery revenue, affecting lottery revenue by $79k in F2022, ($37k) in F2021, and $26k in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 103

Avg. compensation: $49,713

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2022

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

This comment has been previously added by the charity and may not reflect the current profile:

Distress Centre Calgary has provided 24 hour crisis support in Calgary and southern Alberta since 1970. They do this through their 24 hour crisis line, email, chat and texting for youth. They have a peer support phone and online crisis service for youth. The charity has professional counselling for more complex issues and an information and referral service through 211. Their crisis and 211 phone service is offered in over 200 languages. They do not define crisis. They do not judge. Distress Centre is here for everyone day or night and all of their services are free.  

Distress Centre Calgary’s mission is to “provide compassionate, accessible crisis support that enhances the health, well-being and resiliency of individuals in distress.”  In 2016 their 486 volunteers responded to 113,975 contacts.

Charity Contact

Website: www.distresscentre.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 406.366.1601


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001