Young Calgarians who are homeless, or at risk of ending up on the street, got help this week from the Alex Community Health Centre to cope with winter.
More than 200 Calgarians under the age of 24 showed up for the annual Gear Up event.
Every participant receives a backpack, a choice of shoes or a new coat as well as a chance to see a doctor, meet with a lawyer, and get a hot meal and a haircut.
Volunteer Skylar Kernaghan, who attended Gear Up when he was homeless, says even a haircut is important.
"We want to look fresh. We don't want to look homeless but it's just the way life rolls I guess," said Kernaghan.
Keri Trahern who works at the youth clinic in the Alex Community Health Centre said the event allows medical staff to provide flu shots, birth control and blood tests, but she hopes for longer term benefits as well.
"If they get familiar with you that makes a big difference. If you can build a relationship then hopefully, then clients will come back to the clinic and see us there for the rest of their care."
The Calgary Homeless Foundation estimates people under the age of 24 make up about 20 percent of the homeless population in the city.
In June 2011 the Foundation released its strategy to reduce homelessness for Calgary Youth which set a goal of reducing the maximum average stay in an emergency shelter to less than 7 days.