timberland lansley Even London has a homeless issue
As we drove down the 401 in the snowsquall that was hitting southwestern Ontario on Sunday, what was running through my mind wasn’t about having to shovel the snow out of the driveway when we got home. I was thinking how fortunate I was to have made sure the kids had their new winter boots and coats before now. By mid December selection is scarce and such a hassle trying to find anything decent.
Later that evening, as I sat in my favourite chair, wrapped in a warm blanket watching the snow fall, I thought about my column topic for this week. Wilson the cat was perched precariously on the arm of the chair, eyes half closed and softly purring. I listened to the furnace click on and reached for my cup of tea. Ten more minutes and another load of laundry will be ready for folding. And of course, there are always dishes to wash. I knew I should do the great dish hunt in the kids bedrooms, but it was so cozy in that chair. The glow of the Christmas tree was beautiful. It was worth all the time it took to put it together and hauling up the 20 years worth of decorations from the basement.
Downstairs, in the rec room the kids watched a Christmas movie and enjoyed treats. My husband relaxed upstairs watching yet another hockey game. And there it was, just another wintery Sunday evening. And here we were, snug and warm in our home.
It was rather bittersweet, because my column this week is about the Unity Project. You might recall back in 2001 when a group of homeless Londoners and youth activists set up camp in Campbell Memorial Park downtown. They wanted London to know that there was a serious homeless problem and a lack of affordable housing. That protest grew to what is known today as Unity Project, a remarkable and much needed service in this city. Unity Project offers emergency shelter, crash beds, drop in programs, street outreach workers and transitional housing. And there I was, in my comfortable home thinking about all the chores there were ahead of me for having such.
It’s difficult to imagine what it would be like to have nothing but a few meagre possessions sitting on a shelf. No home to call your own. Nothing to take for granted. Wondering what tomorrow is going to take from you. Unity Project is no pity party. And that’s what makes it successful.
Unity Project has worked tirelessly at providing the necessities and opportunities for growth and self reliance for their clients. They do it primarily with fundraising dollars. On December 15th, with Orchestra London they are presenting a dramatic and exciting reading of A Christmas Carol at Centennial Hall. It’s a pay what you can performance and what a show it will be! Readers include some of the finest orators in town, like Gord Cudmore and Claude Pensa. Music will be provided by Orchestra London and the inspirational H. B. Beal Secondary School Singers and The London Singers.