The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled life for all of us. It heightens and further exposes the failures in our system with the worst effects falling unequally on the marginalized and vulnerable. It is also bringing us together in a greater collective effort as we seek to manage this crisis.
Since doors opened in August 2003 until they closed in March 2020, Unity Project was known for being London’s littlest shelter and Canada’s largest participatory shelter. Throughout those years, 35-45 adults and youth of all genders aged 18 and over were accommodated nightly in a home-like shelter environment where participants handled all the cooking, cleaning, and day-to-day maintenance – taking care of themselves, each other, and community.
We shifted emergency shelter operations to a hotel at the onset of the pandemic. There, we increased our typical occupancy, managing private rooms that allow for adequate social distancing, for seniors and those with health conditions which make them most vulnerable to the worst effects of the virus. Intake is centralized, handled by City of London.
Supportive Housing continues at the front building on our Old East Village property and case management and housing stability programming barely took a pause even while we reconfigured everything.
We dwell in an uncertain future while strategizing with the City and community partners for ongoing relief and our role within a robust homeless prevention system. Despite the uncertainty, our goals, approach, and work remain the same:
Housing with supports is the solution to homelessness. Unity Project will continue to develop its programming around this outcome for participants.
717 Dundas Street
London ON N5W 2Z5
Canadian Registered Charity #859628851RR0001