Portraits*Reflections, the latest art exhibit by our Green Wood Creative Arts Group, opened on Thursday evening to a warm reception by many friends and neighbours. The collection of art work on display represented responses to the question, "Who Are You?" and offered the same challenge to viewers. Many pieces are very personal portraits, while others represent an ideal of the sort of person that artist admires. Thank you to everyone who joined our celebration and shared encouraging words--an art show opening can be a very vulnerable time for an artist. Portraits*Reflections will be on exhibit for the month of December and may be viewed by chance or by appointment.
We're celebrating the latest exhibition of art by the Green Wood Creative Arts Group with an open house at our Downtown Port Hope creative space. Representing the work of a dozen artists, some of whom have been meeting weekly for more than six years, this show will feature some of our most personal work to date. Art pieces will be on display for the month of December (by appointment or by chance).
Thursday, December 1
6 - 8 PM
Green Wood Coalition
18 Ontario St., Port Hope
November 22, 2016
Port Hope, ON
This afternoon, Northumberland County released the initial findings from the 20,000 Homes Project mounted over the past week across the County. Green Wood Coalition is pleased to have played an integral part in this process that brought over 300 people in our county together to speak candidly about their personal homelessness situation.
While the data gathered input from 300 people from across the county, this only represents a snapshot of the people facing homelessness in Northumberland.
• 59 individuals identified as being currently homeless
• 18 families (with a total of 25 children) are without a home
• 179 individuals and 48 families are at imminent risk of losing their home
“The evidence gathered and shared in these findings is not entirely surprising to us. Our work brings us shoulder-to-shoulder with many individuals living rough or on the cusp of homelessness” says, David Sheffield, Community Director.
As Northumberland is primarily rural, our homeless community members don’t have restaurants open late to use as warming stations or warming grates to sleep over like in urban centres. We having been working to promote warm, affordable housing for our neighbours for years. This report highlights that that children, young adults, older adults are all affected by homelessness. We want to see this change.
“We trust that leaders and community members alike step up, pay attention to this report and take-action to reduce homelessness in Northumberland. We will continue to do our part” says, Karyn Kennedy, Board Chair.
To read more about the full report please click here
Click here to find out what Green Wood Coalition is doing about homelessness
For more information, feel free to contact David Sheffield at 905-885-8700
Are you, or someone else you know, couch surfing, living rough, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?
Community partners in Northumberland County--including Green Wood Coalition--are connecting with people and families from Nov. 14 to 17th. We want to complete a short health and housing survey with people who are experiencing homelessness (in shelters, couch surfing or living rough) and people who are at risk of homelessness (about to be evicted, cannot afford housing, living with friends, job loss).
The approach is to know every person experiencing or at risk of homelessness by name and to prioritize those most vulnerable, to help them get into stable, affordable housing as quickly as possible.
A gift card will be provided to those who complete surveys.
Surveys can be completed Nov. 14-17th at various locations throughout Northumberland County. Watch this page for specific locations and times.
Last night was another great edition of our monthly Community 101 gathering at Green Wood's downtown location. If you haven't visited Community 101, it's an interactive series that explores ways of becoming a more healthy and vibrant community through caring for each other and seeking long-term change. Community 101 is an interactive series that explores ways of becoming a more healthy and vibrant community through caring for each other and seeking long-term change.
A highlight of last night was a presentation by Christian Harvey, of Peterborough's Warming Room, about what he calls "transformative volunteering". He also talked about "relational practice" and the struggle to hold onto a human approach, in spite of pressures toward more efficient systems. "Efficiency demands results," Christian said, "and results are harder to show when we're working with people with more complex needs." We really need to have this guy back for another visit!
November's Community 101 is set for Monday, November 28 at 7 PM.
Our garden crew spent part of the day putting the Green Wood Community Garden to bed--then gathered around the table for lunch and good conversation. What a great season it has been!
No matter how you slice it, our fourth Pie-Off with Catherine MacLellan was a delicious success that basked in an afternoon of autumn sunlight. This year's Pie-Off was presented in partnership with Cultivate: A Festival of Food & Drink, in downtown Port Hope. As with previous pie celebrations this was a sweet community fundraiser for Green Wood's work with those who are hungry, homeless and hurting.
The lingering taste of fresh pie helped to balance hard work and tough decision-making as home-made pies were judged by a panel of qualified adjudicators.
P.E.I. (that's pie misspelled) singer/songwriter Catherine MacLellan (a pie-baker of some reputation, herself) was quick to congratulate Katie Flindall, winner of the competition's top prize 'World's Best Pie' with her apple pie. Katie noted that she learned to bake such fine pie while growing up on the American prairie.
Along with Katie Flindall (top left), Allison Casteels (top right) took the prize for 'Best 100 Mile Pie', while Alex Lang (lower left) won 'Best Gluten-Free Pie' and the trophy for 'Best Sweet Pie' was taken home by Andrea Kalil and Adam Gibson (lower right). Congratulations all!
Don't miss this week's performance of the play 'To Shut the Mouths of Lions' at The Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, on Saturday, October 1.
This is one of two nights this piece is being re-mounted with the original cast (the other being Harbourfront Theatre in Toronto), and proceeds from this production will benefit Green Wood Coalition. Beyond being a great piece of theatre (funny, poignant, provocative) by talented Northumberland playwright Dave Clark, the underlying themes of disconnection and effects of trauma offer a different lens for viewing our community and possibly our relationships.
The brilliant cast of Lions includes Neil Torrie and Derek Cunningham (pictured here in a scene from the play), Sarah Foord, Jeff Caine, Nick Storm and Jan Crane.
We recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with the play's writer and director, Dave Clark:
To Shut the Mouths of Lions is a broad swath of real life with all of its hilarity and painful moments. Did you feel personally vulnerable in the writing of the play?
"I am more open on the page than I am anywhere else in life. I find it easy to open up and tell truth on the page. My ego disappears when I write and all I want to do is tell truths. This play is not about me or my family or even really about anything I know. I just followed the characters around and they provided the story."
It must have been difficult to cast some of the roles, especially the central character of William McBride.
"I was very happy to get Neil Torrie because he has such a natural delivery on stage and he’s also likeable so that when he takes on an unlikeable character like McBride, audiences somehow don’t mind when he says cruel things and espouses despicable attitudes and beliefs."
What’s the impact you’re hoping for with this play?
"I am thrilled that my writing can be seen as something that might work to heal people who have been scarred by past events they had little or no control over. When we share communally in art that mirrors life, people feel closer to one another and that to me is the reason for writing, or acting."
You're mounting this as a fundraiser for Green Wood Coalition—what’s the connection there?
"I think in many cases the play’s action made people feel exposed about past events in their own lives – which makes it such a good fit for Green Wood. The Green Wood community deserves to be supported because the work they all do and the difference you make in our town is often under-appreciated."
Thanks to our team organizer, Dave Leonard, we fielded our first Green Wood sports team at the recent Slow-Pitch Tournament, in Grafton, ON, to benefit the Salvation Army's homeless outreach program. We were contenders--well, we won one of our games, but we had great jerseys! Thanks to Mystic Signs for hooking us up with great fashions. There is much discussion about reassembling a team next season.