Our Home for Good – Unity Project Acquires Property for Site of Future Home
Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness is thrilled to have finally purchased a new property for the future home of its emergency shelter. The August 16, 2023 acquisition of 788-794 Dundas Street in London’s Old East Village fulfills a hard-won, long overdue and key milestone of Unity Project’s Strategic Plan 2016-2019.
This development represents Unity Project’s best opportunity to rebuild with intention, love, and purpose following the wreckage of the pandemic and our community’s best opportunity to bring the knowledge and expertise Unity Project has solidified over the last two decades to help deliver on the health and homelessness pathway that is now coalescing in our community.
Most unfortunately, a fire on September 7, 2023 damaged the back of one of the buildings.
Unity Project is immensely grateful that no one was hurt, for the speedy emergency response suppressing the fire, and that damages are contained to the site. We understand that one person has been charged in connection to the fire and have no reason to believe that we were targeted.
We regret that the news of our property purchase became public in this way. We had imminent plans to announce following some key community consultations and had honoured the confidentiality requirements of the private purchase and sale agreement up to its closing.
Unity Project recently returned to its Old East Village property at 717, 719-721 Dundas in May 2023 after 3 years operating out of a hotel. The transformed site utilizes outdoor bedroom cabins on the exterior grounds and supports 38 individuals including those with medical conditions, couples and people with pets.
This configuration will transition us toward Our Home for Good at 788-794 Dundas Street, moving our shelter from its current location to the new facility in 3-5 years.
Our Home for Good promises to be an amply-sized, community-considered, purpose-built and intentionally-designed space that functions somewhere in between institutional facility and home – the bricks and mortar of that pathway from front door stabilization through to housing and stability.
Community consultation will engage the residents and businesses of Old East Village as plans develop.
Devonshire Consulting and Nicholson Sheffield Architects are retained to plan the development and construction of the facility.
The acquisition and initial development costs have been financed with a loan through London Community Foundation’s Social Impact Fund, a federal Reaching Home grant, as well as donations and bequests ear-marked for the cause.
Dirka Prout, Chair – Board of Directors
Chuck Lazenby, Executive Director