Giving Tuesday open house at Unity Project is just one of the fundraising campaigns the homeless shelter has launched after losing funds formerly known as now defunct Orchestra London. Several events are planned under the banner Home for the Holidays.
By Randy Richmond
The London Free Press
London shelter hopes to raise $30,000 to help the homeless secure their own homes with proper supports
A homeless shelter that relied on Orchestra London’s help every year has launched a campaign to fill the significant hole in funding left by the orchestra’s closing.
Unity Project will count on several events and campaigns under the banner Home for the Holidays to raise the $30,000 in funding lost — especially important as the shelter embarks on a new way of helping homeless people.
“A Christmas Carol was a very important fundraiser on the money side, but also in terms of community engagement and awareness of the issue of homelessness,” said Silvia Langer, development director at Unity Project.
“It really was quite a beautiful event. People are missing it.”
Facing a financial crisis, Orchestra London shut its doors Dec. 11, 2014, the day after its final concert at A Christmas Carol reading.
The $30,000 raised by the event went a to the $400,000 Unity Project has to raise on its own each year. The rest of its funding comes from government sources.
The financial boost is even more important now that Unity Project is one of the agencies leading the city’s drive to end homelessness through the housing first model.
Instead of just offering a bed and some food to homeless people, Unity Project is working to help people get their own homes with proper supports and stop cycling in and out of shelters.
“A shelter is always a bandaid. But Unity Project wants to be the best darn bandaid that ever was. We want to be flexible and attractive and healing,” Langer said.
Unity Project is the smallest shelter in the city, providing crisis support during the day and beds for about 45 to 50 people helped each night.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Philanthropic Friendsy: Each gift from now to Dec. 1 will be matched by Cambia Development Foundation
Giving Tuesday Open House: Dec. 1 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Unity Project, 719 Dundas St.
Santa Sacks: Help fill 85 backpacks with practical and fun items
Carols by Candlelight: 3 p.m. Dec. 20, Central Library, Wolf Performance Hall
Raising the Roof toque campaign
More info: www.unityproject.ca
Source: The London Free Press