LONDON, ONT. – It’s been 14 months for everyone, but for those struggling with homelessness, the pressures have been far more difficult to deal with.
“Last year was probably the toughest time,” says Chuck Lazenby of the Unity Project on Dundas Street.
Because of the tight spaces in the shelter, it was closed during the pandemic and they had to secure other accommodation.
“Our building just wouldn’t work for us anymore, so we’ve taken over 50 rooms from a hotel that can accommodate people with pre-existing health conditions and seniors who are homeless to protect them from the most extreme effects of COVID. “Explains Lazenby.
However, this federal and state funding could soon run dry.
Lazenby adds, “We know we have until the end of June but it is so far and we really hope it continues while the pandemic is still a threat.”
Given this uncertainty, funding is a major concern and that is why the annual Up with Art event, which helps the Unity Project and Museum London, is so important.
“There are 65 works of incredible art that have been donated by local renowned, emerging artists and participants in the Unity Project,” says Silvia Langer, also at Unity Project. “There are also works donated by well-known collectors in and around London.”
Every year Up with Art has a special guest artist and this time it’s no different with this piece by Shelley Niro.
“Shelley Niro is a Governor General Award winning artist who took this incredible photo, titled The Wild and the Colonized. It also appears on t-shirts and is being used with funds to help the Unity Project.”
Last year the online event raised more than $ 147,000.
“We’re really very dependent on this fundraiser and the type of community it creates, the way it combines art and social justice to make London a vibrant and healthy community,” says Langer.
Up with Art is online until Saturday evening.