August 11, 2023 marked 20 years since doors opened at our emergency shelter in Old East Village… and 22 years since our origins as a Tent City protest in a downtown park!

While the enduring existence of an emergency shelter is nothing to celebrate, our Unity community can be proud of what we have accomplished together. We certainly celebrate our return to our home-base after three years operating out of a hotel.

Our community’s compassion and support has ensured the consistent contribution of vital social services in London and helped thousands of individuals to approach stability and restore wellbeing.

Thank you all!

Revealing the transformation with thanks

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we were honoured to have some pretty special people join us to view the fruits of their funding.

Mayor Josh Morgan; Deputy Mayor, Shawn Lewis, along with London Community Foundation’s Helen Connell, Lori Runciman, and Al Day, toured our transformed site to witness how their support helps our participants and enriches our programming.

Capital funding from City of London saw 13 double-occupancy shelter cabins installed on what was the courtyard/parking lot and in the backyard, dorms converted to double occupancy rooms for 12 individuals, plus additional exterior and interior modifications.

A 3-year LCF – Community Vitality Grant supports managing an indoor/outdoor program, reducing caseloads for improved health and housing outcomes, and evaluation of program efficacy as a solution for rapid, safe, accessible, and low-barrier emergency shelter.

This transformation allows Unity Project to continue prioritizing support for those with complex housing requirements including medical conditions, couples and people with pets. We can accommodate 38 individuals at any given time, versus the 12 who could be safely supported indoors alone.

Our ‘discovery’ of these purpose-built Pallet shelter cabins made this solution possible unlike other ‘tiny home’, huts, trailers or portables we have reviewed.

Every inch of our property is engaged program space. We really miss you but… we cannot welcome the public for tours, nor to drop off donations. With respect for the privacy, security and well-being of our participants, please continue to give financially. It really helps.

From left: Mayor Josh Morgan; Chuck Lazenby, Unity Project Executive Director; Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis
Pallet Shelters at Unity Project indoor/outdoor facility - located in former Unity House Parking Lot
Pallet Shelters behind Unity House. Left side: brick wall of back of Unity Project; right side is white Pallet Shelter
Silvia Langer, Unity Project Development Director
OUR OWN LITTLE CORNER, article clipping from August 11 2023 London Free Press (paper edition)
LFP – August 11

(Photo credit Mike Hensen) Chuck Lazenby, UP Executive Director with London Mayor Josh Morgan and his daughter. Photo credit: Mike Henson. Thank you to Randy Richmond.

Chuck Lazenby, Unity Project Executive Director, standing in front of new Pallet Shelter behind Unity Project's 717 Dundas facility, giving speech/tour to key City of London and London Community Foundation staff