A woman you know may be experiencing homelessness.

For acclaimed Canadian artist Daniel Mazzone, that woman was his mother.

Daniel’s mother lived in a women’s shelter in downtown Toronto after his parents separated when he was young. She was all alone, didn’t speak English, and had nowhere else to go. Years later, after being homeless himself as a teen, Daniel reflected on the struggles his mother faced and began to challenge stereotypes associated with women experiencing homelessness to help restore their dignity.

“Maria” – Daniel’s portrait of a strong woman fighting to be heard weaves together famous female inventors and women demanding an equal voice. It was reproduced in partnership with Klick Health and Choice Properties as a four-story tribute to The Shoebox Project and the women they will support this holiday season.

The portrait can be viewed through the end of the year outside Klick’s headquarters at 175 Bloor Street East in Toronto – only a few blocks away from the shelter his mother lived in.

Interview with Daniel Mazzone

About The Shoebox Project

The Shoebox Project for Women supports local women impacted by homelessness by offering dignity and compassion through the collection and distribution of holiday gift-filled Shoeboxes and messages of support.

For women who have been displaced from their homes and are estranged from their families, the holiday season can be particularly challenging. Often, they report feeling disconnected from society, invisible, and alone. A Shoebox gift is a simple gesture of kindness and acts as a powerful reminder for a woman that she has not been forgotten and that she remains a valued and respected member of her community.

Over the past 10 years, The Shoebox Project has distributed over 240,000 Shoeboxes across Canada, the USA, and the UK, and an additional $1.2 million worth of gift cards and essential products directly to local women and gender-diverse people accessing over 510 shelters and community agencies.

The Shoebox Project logo.Klick Health logo