Categories
News

New School of Colour

New School of Colour participants will showcase their work on equal footing with some of Canada’s most celebrated artists at Unity Project’s UPwithART – June 20 at The Palace Theatre.

“New School of Colour is an incredible program and a real gift to our community.” Says Silvia Langer, Unity Project’s Development Director.

The grassroots, free art program provides opportunity for youth and adults dealing with issues of poverty, mental health and other social barriers to experience art and make art in a social space. Unity Project residents contribute to UPwithART through New School.

“Unity Project residents are UPwithART’s inspiration,” says Langer . “UPwithART is transformative – it’s an important fundraiser for our cause and brings dignity to those experiencing poverty and homelessness. We are honoured to partner with New School of Colour and the many who make up the UPwithART team!”

To visit the UPwithART webiste, visit: www.upwithart.ca

Categories
News

An awesome display of Unity for UPwithART’s 5th Anniversary

Sponsors and Artists gathered for a sneak peek at UPwithART’s 5th Anniversary offerings on June 2nd and then for a photo… Jim Wilkes/Unifor Local 27, Adam Giroux, Aidan Urquhart, Geoffrey Hume, Wyn Geleynse, Kim Wilkie, Brian Meehan/Museum London, Rob Nelson (standing) and Monica Lindenfield, Silvia Langer/Unity Project, Trevor McNaughton/UP+Artist (seated) gathered for a sneak peek at UPwithART’s 5th Anniversary offerings. Good conversation inspired by great art in the packed livingroom – art filled every corner – of Unity Project’s transitional housing building.

Unity Project shares a love of art and community with its generous sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Mitchell & Kathryn Baran Family Foundation; Media Sponsor CTV London; Gold Gallery Sponsors Callon Dietz and Unifor Local 27; Silver Stage Sponsors Manu Panwar DDS & John Demarco DDS and Harrison Pensa; Bronze Art Sponsors The Good Foundation, LBF Media Group, Museum London, Framing and Art Centre (downtown), Colour by Schubert, McIntosh Gallery, Sweet Magic London, The Root Cellar, North Moore Catering, The Grand Theatre.

Their support and high bidders will help Unity Project reach its 5th Anniversary goal to raise $75,000 for relief of homelessness in London.

To visit the UPwithART webiste, visit: www.upwithart.ca

Categories
News

Unity Project awards Outstanding Volunteers at Annual General Meeting

Unity Project’s Annual General Meeting on March 2nd was a well-attended and productive event. We elected (or re-elected) the board directors: Amanda Grzyb, Chair; James Spangenberg, Vice-Chair; Jane Marinelli-Simm, Secretary; Gil Warren, Treasurer; Chuck Grawburg, Rick Odegaard, Tammy Connor, Pat Malloy, Fergo Berto, Bernie Hammond, Sarah White and Dimitri Lascaris. Many thanks for the dedication and commitment of all these quality people who bring us together…Unity!

The first annual Brian Mortimer Awards for Outstanding Volunteerism were inaugurated. Those honoured in 2014 are Brian Mortimer (of course!), Amanda Wilcox, Mandi Fields, and Lauryn Smyth. These volunteers have notably demonstrated profound compassion and outstanding commitment to our cause, giving most generously of their time and talents for relief of homelessness. Thank you!

Categories
News

Raising the Roof to #endhomelessness on Toque Tuesday

Raising the Roof’s Toque Tuesday – an annual, national campaign for the elimination of homelessness in Canada – hit the streets on February 3, 2015 – a chill winter’s day.

Unity Project and compassionate community supporters were out in force speaking out for the cause, visiting with homeless-serving organizations and distributing toques freely to those in need of a warm and fashionable hat.
London CAReS Street Outreach Workers guided over 25 volunteers, from City of London (including Mayor Matt Brown, City Councillors Jesse Helmer, Maureen Cassidy and Josh Morgan, our Medical Officer of Health Dr. Christopher Mackie of Middlesex London Health Unit, as well as employees from Raising the Roof’s national partners, Paul Davis Systems and Intact Financial. Lorna Bruce of London Police Service and Dr. Bodkin of London InterCommunity Health Centre distributed toques while on their weekly rounds checking in on street-involved individuals.

City Councillors wore the iconic Raising the Roof toque during City business in solidarity with those experiencing homelessness in London and the 235,000 Canadians who endure that crisis annually. Mayor Matt Brown was honoured to participate. “I am encouraged by the positive direction that City of London is taking in homelessness prevention strategies. I thank those who work and volunteer to make life better for those who experience this terrible crisis and those who work and volunteer to end it. They give us all hope we can end homelessness,” he said.

Communities across Canada participate in Toque Tuesday events to raise dollars and awareness about homeless, certainly one of the greatest issues facing Canadian society. Eighty per cent of net toque and sock sales support the work of local community partner agencies, with the remainder funds Raising the Roof’s national initiatives.

London’s event brings an exciting twist to Toque Tuesday. While Intact Financial (London branch) sold nearly 400 of their 2015 inventory (and has contributed to raising nearly $40,000 over 5 years of partnership), Paul Davis Systems (London and Sarnia) opted to purchase 400 toques and donate 200 enabling us to provide freely around London.

“Housing,with support, is the solution to homelessness. It is not an unsolvable problem. The show of support here today shows there is hope.” Says Silvia Langer, Development Manager at Unity Project.

Categories
News

Carols by Candlelight

The 2nd annual Carols by Candlelight was held at Aeolian Hall and featured a collection of holiday favourites performed by London musicians Amanda Perera, Denise Jung, and Ross Mortimer. Jung accompanied vocalists Perera and Mortimer on piano for their renditions of Christmas classics like The Christmas Song and O Holy Night. Following the success of last year’s event, the classically trained trio performed once again to a sold-out audience in an intimate, candle-lit venue.
Many thanks to all who attended this very special evening and helped raise $2,315 in support of Unity Project this holiday season.

Categories
News

Media Release: Unity Project supports orchestra debt relief

London, On – Orchestra London is a community treasure. Ample and reliable support, and occasional relief, are responsibilities we must accept.

The orchestra has partnered with Unity Project for six years in mounting our annual fundraiser, A Christmas Carol. This event has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help relieve homelessness in our city and also gives back to our community through a pay-what-you-can admission. The annual effort behind the scenes is significant on the part of Unity and the orchestra’s administration—and this is not the orchestra’s only such contribution to the city.

This year, A Christmas Carol welcomed over 1000, all hoping it was not to be the last opportunity to see our orchestra perform. After many ovations, we all left feeling deeply connected to our community through both music and compassion.
Our experience demonstrates how arts and culture are equally as valuable as social services and function interdependently for a healthy and vibrant community.

There are some 60 good people’s livelihoods on the line and at a particularly brutal time of year. We must not turn our back on them and the amount of money at stake is entirely affordable. They have already contributed and they are owed. To not pay, would be to take advantage.

Once these short term needs are met, let us pause to think about the future of the orchestra.

Amanda Grzyb, Chair – Unity Project Board of Directors
Chuck Lazenby, Unity Project Executive Director

Photo by Agata Lesnik

Categories
Uncategorized

$4,745 Raised in Parade of Renovations

The London Home Builders’ Association raised a sizable $4,745 for Unity Project with their 24th Annual Parade of Renovations – October 5, 2014. The Parade gave ticketholders the opportunity to tour 11 home renovation sites across the city and to speak firsthand with the renovators themselves.

Unity Project thanks the LHBA, the renovators and all those kind-hearted homeowners who put up their homes for compassionate display.

Categories
Uncategorized

Unity Project unveils heritage gem to celebrate 10 years in permanent home

In celebration of the milestone of Unity Project’s 10th anniversary, Unity Project is proud to unveil the newly restored façade at our Dundas St. property. The $100,000 heritage restoration was made possible by the Save UP Front initiative, which drew support from many generous community partners including London Dental Community Cares, The Home Depot Canada Foundation, the London Advisory Committee on Heritage, and the City of London.

After mounting a heritage plaque on the building, we celebrated the updates to our facility and Unity’s continued success with over 100 community members and held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

The outpouring of support for Unity Project’s restoration reflects our organization’s dedication to building relationships within our community. “The restoration of this heritage gem has demonstrated Unity Project’s commitment to their clients and the neighbourhood, and has left a legacy for our community,” says Sarah Merritt, executive director of the Old East Village Business Improvement Area.

Unity project extends our utmost gratitude to all of the individuals, businesses, and community partners who contributed to UP’s heritage restoration.

Categories
Uncategorized

London’s littlest shelter marks big milestone in community contribution

August 11 marked the 10th anniversary of Unity Project opening its doors in the Old East Village.

Though once wrought with controversy, Unity Project has established itself as a respected model for emergency shelter and transitional housing services. “In the eyes of many we were just a bunch of unruly, idealistic kids. Lucky for London, they were half right!” says Chuck Lazenby, Unity Project’s executive director. “Being young helped us to take risks, but we were also smart, hard working and committed to our values.”

Over the past decade, Unity Project has sheltered approximately 5,000 men and women, has provided drop-in services over 180,000 times, and has assisted more than 1,750 individuals obtain housing. Frontline staff have made a minimum 100,000 referrals and volunteers have contributed 125,000 hours. Unity’s shelter environment operates with the values of respect, cooperation, interdependence, and compassion while focusing on the development of participants’ life skills.

“We hope that Unity Project has helped London to see homelessness as a crisis that people experience, caused by poverty and that it does not define a person,” says Lazenby. “We have helped thousands to approach stability and achieve independence, and I am confident that everyone achieves some success during their experience with us.”