Artists Against Homelessness Presented with Community Service Award in Toronto For “The Forgotten Homeless” Song

Richard Todd, singer/songwriter/guitarist for Toronto band Redpath Traffic, accepted a Community Service Award in the Arts & Culture Leaders category for spearheading his ensemble project, Artists Against Homelessness. The award was presented by Chris Glover, MPP, Spadina Fort-York, at his annual Community Recognition Ceremony.

“This award acknowledges the work we’re doing to help end homelessness in our communities,” Todd says. “But it also underscores how much work there is still to do.”

At the center of the project is Todd’s song, “The Forgotten Homeless”, which tells the heart-wrenching stories of people struggling while living on the street. Twelve all-star indie singers appear with Todd on this “We are the World”-style production, including Anna Goldsmith, Shari Tallon, Chris Birkett, David Moses, Michael Quattro, Sarah Siddiqui, Luciana Santaguida, Chatrisse Dolabaille, and Signe Miranda, along with singers Osaze Dolabaille, Esmaeel Abofakher, and Rahaf Alakbani.

The homelessness crisis in Toronto has reached a critical point, with more than 8,000 people experiencing homelessness every night. These individuals often find shelter in the city, while many more grapple with “hidden homelessness,” relying on the generosity of relatives, friends, or strangers with little sense of stability.

The problem is exacerbated by Toronto’s severe lack of affordable housing. The wait for supportive housing is several years long, forcing families to spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing, leaving less for necessities like food and medication.

In response, Toronto-based Todd teamed up with WoodGreen Community Services, one of Toronto’s largest social services organizations, to address this urgent problem with creating “The Forgotten Homelessness” charity single with his cast of all-star collaborators.

Producing the project is Chris Birkett, a fellow advocate for homelessness in Toronto whose remarkable musical career includes collaborations with globally renowned artists such as Sinead O’Connor, Alison Moyet, Dexys Midnight Runners, Talking Heads, The Pogues, Bob Geldof, Quincy Jones, Mel Brooks, and Steve Earle.

“The Forgotten Homeless” is available on Spotify and other streaming platforms, with streaming royalties being donated back to WoodGreen Community Services’ UNMET Needs campaign.