Art is a fantastic form of expression that can inspire, motivate and heal. The Red Wagon Collective Saturday Art Group has put together a wonderful project. They have been working on a quilt project in partnership with the Toronto Homeless Memorial Network.
The Red Wagon Collective Saturday Art Group is a collective of low income; homeless (shelter users and street sleepers); inadequately/institutionally housed; recently incarcerated; and low income people.
They refuse to forget those whose lives have been abandoned by the state. Instead, they choose to remember, mourn, and organize.
The project has inspired conversations around the housing crisis and the neoliberalization of homelessness. The quilt is a public way to remember those who have died while homeless and includes members of the community who wish to mourn the loss of loved ones.
The Homeless Memorial Quilt Project aims to create a mobile, accessible means of mourning in the homeless community. As many street involved folk are buried in unmarked graves in the far ends of the city. The collective plans to continue on in this project and have begun a second quilt for the year 2016. The Quilt Project will be shown at every memorial. They will have a table set up in the church for people to participate in the ongoing quilt project by painting the name of a friend or loved one who has died of homelessness on a fabric square. Each square will be sewn together for the next quilt.
1. A national subsidized housing strategy
2. The CREATION and MAINTENANCE of CLEAN, SAFE and ACCESSIBLE SUBSIDIZED housing in TORONTO.
3. Increased shelter beds and improved shelter conditions (including the Out of the Cold program).
4. The emergency measure of opening the armouries in the winter months to prevent freezing deaths and meet the lack of the already exhausted shelter system.
5. An end to the freezing and/or cutbacks of city budgets by Mayor John Tory and city council.
5. An end to councillor support of gentrifying projects like the Seaton House Revitalization (Kristyn Wong Tam) and the Moss Park redevelopment.