Alejandro Dorda Mevs & Sheperds 2016
“Every time a man is begotten and born, the clock of human
life is wound up anew to repeat once more its same old tune that has already been played innumerable times, movement by movement and measure by measure, with insignificant variations.” – Arthur Schopenhau
LPM Projects is hyped to announce that New York / Miami / Berlin artist Alejandro Hugo Dorda Mevs, also known as Axel Void, has donated a massive 7 x 7 foot custom painting to Sheperds of Good Hope, Ottawa, in honour of all women & men whom we see every day at Sheperds. The painting depicts a portrait of Dakota, a local woman, based on her photo portrait taken by Ottawa photographer Tony Fouhse, along with an overlay poem by local street poet Crazzy Dave.
This project was funded in 2011, in part through a U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy-Ottawa Public Affairs Section Grant.
Alejandro Hugo Dorda Mevs, also known as Axel Void, was born in Miami in 1986 to a Spanish father and Haitian mother. The hectic, unstable and ever-changing atmosphere in which Alex was raised, influenced his way of understanding things along with his way of representing them.
At 3 years old Alex went to live in Cadiz with his mother, where he had to get used to living in several places for short periods of time.
When Alex was 10 years old, his Haitian grandfather came home with a saxophone for him that he bought for nine dollars. This is where his passion for music began. A few years later this passion was accompanied by his career as a painter. Along with the saxophone Alex plays the sideflute, clarinet and piano. He has also played and recorded with various jazz, funk-rock, electronic, rap and experimental music groups and bands.
Alex began to teach himself to paint at very young age. In 1999 he was introduced to the graffiti world, which influenced his forms of expression as well as the conception of his work taking a parallel path with the commercial world of contemporary art.
At 16 Alex’s mother returned to Miami, and Alex decided to stay in Cadiz and maintained a kind of nomadic and solitary lifestyle. Afterwards, he lived between Granada, and Sevilla, where he still lives, maintaining the rhythm of frequent travel, painting, and music.
Alex’s pseudonym comes from the compostion of his work: the juxtaposition of form and emptiness, silence and sound, and Void’s way of combining and confusing empty space with closed space.
Alex has always lived in environments where drugs were present, which in combination with experiences suffered in his family, brought about in Alex a rejection of substances and “pseudo life”. This rejection and his concept of “Home” are two of the most recurring themes in Void’s work. It can be said, however, that its not so much these themes that call attention, so much as the dynamism of his work–ambiguity, discomfort, unease, are some of the most fundamental features of Alex’s work, which mores than give any clearcut messages, his work clouds them, raising more questions and doubt than answers. – J. Carmona
Shepherds of Good Hope
Shepherds of Good Hope is the largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to the needs of the homeless and impoverished in the city of Ottawa. It was founded 30 years ago, and today, over 1600 people come through our doors each day. Some people look for a hot meal from our soup kitchen, others seek clothing from our clothing program, some come for groceries from our grocery program, while others are looking for a friendly ear to listen. Over 500 people sleep in one of our 8 facilities across the city every night. From shelters, to supportive living to transitional housing, Shepherds of Good Hope is an example of excellence in client service delivery.
It has only been thirty-one years from our humble beginnings to where Shepherds of Good Hope is today. Today, we are the largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the poor and the homeless in the city of Ottawa.
It was a cold day in January, 1983 when the priest of St. Brigid’s Catholic Church received a knock on the door. There stood a hungry man asking for food. The kindly priest made the man a sandwich. The next day — another knock on the door and so it continued day after day. Finally, the priest put an ad in the paper looking for volunteers to help feed the men and women who were lining up for food and St. Brigid’s Soup Kitchen, the predecessor of Shepherds of Good Hope was born. On February 7, 1983 – the first day the soup kitchen opened 23 people received a meal.
Today, approximately 700,000 meals are served out of our Soup Kitchen a year.
Throughout 1983, there were 420 beds booked for men and women in the basement of a church so they could sleep out of the elements.
In 2012, there were 54,654 beds booked for men who slept in our men’s shelters and 24,536 beds booked for women who slept in our Outreach Shelter for Women.
In 2013, Shepherds of Good Hope has grown to include 9 facilities around the city to serve the needs of our clients, these include;
233 Murray Street – Main Soup Kitchen, Food Bank, Clothing Program and Administration
230 Murray Street – Emergency Men’s Shelter with 102 beds
256 King Edward Ave – Transitional Emergency Shelter Program-TESP with 49 beds, Managed Alcohol Program with 12 beds, Enhanced Support Program with 27 beds, Hope Outreach Emergency Women’s Shelter with 96 beds, 16 of them belonging to the Special Care Unit for Sick Women
208 St. Andrew Street – Supportive living 35 units
78/80 Nelson Street , Brigid’s Place – Housing First for Women 11 units
1057 and 1053 Merivale Road , The Oaks – Supportive living 55 units
145 Castlefrank Road, Hope Living – Supportive living 99 units
Good Day Workshop – Located at 211 Bronson Ave (Bronson Centre)
All of our programs support an atmosphere of living in a community-enriched environment.
Programs & Services
Shepherds of Good Hope offers many life-giving programs and services to more than 1,600 men and women who come through our doors each day. Some come for a hot meal in the Soup Kitchen, some come for groceries to feed their families from our Grocery Program, some come for warm, dry clothing from our Clothing Program and some for a bed in one of our 8 facilities across the city. The programs and services cater to the needs of the shelter, transitional housing and supportive living clients where they are at.
Support Services, 233 Murray
Support Services is just as it sounds. It supports the operations of Shepherds of Good Hope by offering a Soup Kitchen that runs 365 days a year, a Grocery Program that offers assistance with emergency food supplies for families in the community, a Clothing Program for anyone who needs clothing, and an Evening Drop-in that provides a safe, friendly environment where all clients can drop in for a bowl of soup, a hot drink, sandwich, or to share friendship.
Shelter Programs, 256 King Edward
The Men’s Shelter at the Shepherds of Good Hope on 230 Murray Street provides a safe place for 105 men over the age of 18 who have found themselves temporarily homeless for a variety of reasons. The majority of the residents have significant mental health and/or active addiction issues. A universal case management approach, facilitated by a team of case managers and a housing worker, assist with developing unique game plans for each individual. The shelter also provides a special Worker Dorm for men and women working part time or full time.
-Managed Alcohol Program (MAP)
Partners with Ottawa Inner City Health and provides 12 beds for high risk, chronically homeless, alcoholic males and 4 spots during the day for females. The program reduces the harm that individuals suffer while dealing with an addiction on the street, as well as the community disruption that the addiction entails. With their alcohol consumption managed, many clients are able to stabilize and address other areas of need in their lives.
-Enhanced Support Program (ESP)
ESP is a segregated section of the main shelter with 26 beds for both men and women that is designed for individuals who are awaiting treatment, housing or other services. Individuals staying in this area will continue to receive medical care, support, mental health and concurrent disorder treatment, but will have a less chaotic environment. This unit recognizes that often housing, case management, placement and other services which may be essential to exiting the shelter may not be immediately available but, that continued exposure to day to day street life is detrimental to the clients efforts in making positive changes.
The 60-bed Women’s Shelter offers specialized services to women and transgendered individuals 18 years of age or older who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Residents are provided with a safe place and coordinated care by psychiatric personnel, outreach workers and medical professionals.
-Women’s Special Care Unit
16 beds dedicated to women with complex health issues and/or addiction issues. Care includes counselling, support and life skills training.
-Transitional Emergency Shelter Program (TESP)
TESP is located on the 1st floor of 256 King Edward Ave. It is a 49 bed program for both men and women who are not linked into the mainstream homelessness services and is used to provide specialized treatment in mental health and concurrent disorders…
The network of housing options is designed to meet the diverse support and supervision needs of its tenants and allows individuals to move from one level of support to another while working towards a more independent living style.
208 St. Andrew Residence
St. Andrew Street Residence is an apartment building composed of both single and double occupancy units and has proven to be an example of distinction not only in supportive housing but also in its neighbourhood. This program houses individuals with concurrent disorders like mental illness and addictions who are capable of a more independent lifestyle. As such, it operates with staff on an as-needed basis. Staff provide skills training to interested residents. Among its successes, this program can boast of an active tenants association, garden club, newsletter, musical jam session nights, resource room and partnership with Electric Art Gallery. Its beautiful flower and vegetable garden all tended by the residents has been awarded first prize for best garden in the Lower-town area.
Brigid’s Place, 78/80 Nelson St
The residents of Brigid’s Place are the most street entrenched and hardest-to-serve women in the city of Ottawa due to addiction issues, mental health and factors relating to past trauma. This program has been in operation since 2009 and provides safe housing as a first step to maintaining stability. There are 11 private bedrooms and the rest of the residence is shared. Residents are included in all decision making as in a regular home atmosphere and this contributes towards its success.
The Oaks, 1057 and 1053 Merivale Rd
The Oaks Residence is a unique partnership between the Shepherds of Good Hope, Inner City Health, and Canadian Mental Health Association. The 1057 Merivale Rd. residence has 36 units and the 1053 Merivale Rd. residence has 19 units located on the same property. Combining the efforts of these three organizations to care for the residents of the Managed Alcohol Program, the aging living in shelters and Canadian Mental Health Association residents has never been done before. The results speak for themselves. The residents have never known a level of safety, dignity and caring as they are experiencing in this unique three tiered programming.
Hope Living, 145 Castlefrank Road
This inviting location in Ottawa’s west end is our 8th and newest facility and supportive living residence. This quiet, suburban setting permits an ease of living so different from the noisy downtown core. With 99 beds, expansive open spaces and multiple, large windows, cozy sitting rooms, a well-appointed dining facility and sprawling grounds, our clients can experience all of the comforts and safety of their lovely new home.
Good Day Workshop, 211 Bronson Ave
Good Day Workshop is a social enterprise that welcomes individuals with disabilities or addictions or both and teaches them to repair and refinish beautiful wood furniture.