The Community Box: Homelessness Edition.
Featured Community Partner, April 2019.
“Stigmas on being homeless need to be left behind and replaced with an understanding of what homelessness really means.”
My father and I were both wrestling fans growing up and I always felt connected to him whenever we watched it together on TV. I felt very hopeful whenever we went to a match at The Garden, but it always ended up feeling like a duty rather than something he enjoyed.
Just like the lead up to Christmas, it ended up being just another day.
As a child, I always felt that I didn’t deserve any better and as I grew older, I really started believing that.
I’ve always viewed alcohol as a way to make people happy, and I longed for the day I could drink so that I could be happy and have fun like everyone else.
By age 16, my drinking and behaviors became a significant problem and I was told I had to leave the house.
My addictions led me to long periods of living in tents, shacks, and transport truck cabs; wherever I could find a safe, isolated place to lay my head and not be noticed by anyone.
After moving to Cambridge for a fresh start in 2017, I had difficulties maintaining a room and I found myself living in a tent along Hespeler Road. After five months of living outside, I found the room I am staying in today. My hope for the future is to continue upgrading my living arrangement, but at the same time, I feel like if I lost this place, I would survive.
I’ve done this throughout my life - surviving, adjusting, just like a chameleon.
I want to be an advocate for people who don’t have the voice to speak for themselves, those that are homeless, or those who are suffering from addictions. This is important because I never had that around me. I never had that type of help growing up and had that existed, it might’ve changed where I am today - I might be doing something different with my life.
Stigmas on being homeless need to be left behind and replaced with an understanding of what homelessness really means.
People need to start looking at faces and eyes, instead of clothing or situations. I want to be seen for who I am, not for who people perceive me to be.
For the tote bag, the design represents my pride and not wanting others to see the struggle that I keep in myself.
I feel like I am in a prison of my own making. I am able to get out, but I still feel like I deserve the punishment so I stay inside.
We all have a prince in our frog, but sometimes you have to kiss the frog more often than others.
The Community Box: Homelessness Edition
Our second Community Box was created by three partners who have recently experienced homelessness - the designs that are meaningful and personal to our partners.
The premium tote bags (15” by 15” by 3”) are suitable for groceries, books, and everything in between. The bags are made from 100% heavy canvas and are screen-printed locally in Guelph, Ontario.
Every community partner earned $50 for co-designing their tote bag. Additionally, 50% of our profits are shared with our partners.
Empower our Partners
Click the button below to build your Community Box! You can add one, two, or all three tote bags that our partners designed to your box. You can discover the other two designs in the selection menu.