April 26, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Fundraising is now complete for a London Homeless Memorial which King’s students played a significant part in bringing to reality.  Third year students in the Social Work in the Community course contributed $2,645.16  to help build the rock monument and plaque.  It will be erected in Campbell Park, London later this year.

“It’s a direct link between classroom and community,” says Dermot Hurley, Interim Director of the School of Social Work.  “Our students need to be concerned about poverty and homeless.”

The London Homeless Coalition distributed food at the Covent Garden Market on April 26 and used the event to officially announce the completion of their fund raising goal to build the London Homeless Memorial.  A total of $11,851.66 was raised to build the monument, pay for the upkeep of the park and also to develop a process to track and recognize the deaths of homeless individuals in the community.

“Many homeless die alone and unrecognized,” says Abe Oudshoorn,  Chair, London Homeless Coalition.  He says they hope to have the monument in place by October 10th, World Homeless Day, but that they still need the approval of London City Council.  The site will become a place to gather for an annual ceremony to recognize those who died on the streets.  A system is now being developed between police, hospitals and community groups to keep track of these deaths and notify any surviving family or friends.  Oudshoorn says the average age of death of a homeless person in London is 47.

King’s professor Trevor Johnson along with students Massah Tarawalley, Tendai Kambasha, Jackie Schindler, Jackie Sharzer and Val Hopkins attended the event and applauded the efforts of the coalition to build the monument.  “This course moves beyond the theoretical and gives students practical ways to engage with the community.  It is a different opportunity and they have worked very hard together to help this cause,” says Johnson.

For more information about the School of Social Work, please visit www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/school-of-social-work/

To learn more about the London Homeless Coalition, please visit londonhomeless.ca/