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POST+BEAM / A JOURNAL

Unity Mural Project

The Unity Mural Project exemplifies one of Interstruct’s core values: community. We believe in investing in our community through service, creative projects and nonprofit partnerships. In 2021, four Unity Mural Project events directly served 950 individuals and families in need in the Parramore neighborhood. 

We are honored that the Unity Mural Project was a 2021 Golden Brick Finalist in the Community Category. Downtown Orlando Partnership’s annual awards celebrate the people, projects, and initiatives that propel downtown forward. ⁠

How a neighborhood art project began serving its community

The Unity Mural Project is a partnership between the Jennifer H. Desire Foundation and Interstruct to share a message of hope to the community of Parramore. The effort grew out of a mural-with-a-message painted on Interstruct’s building at 814 W. Church Street to beautify a 1940s warehouse awaiting reconstruction. Artist Maureen Hudas spearheaded the project in the summer of 2020.

Maureen Hudas and a group of artists painted the Unity Mural, featuring activist Jennifer Desire, in the summer of 2020. Photo by Chad Baumer.

The mural featured community activist Jennifer Desire as the central figure (learn more about the mural and how it spurred our community events.) Desire has a history of providing food and friendship to people who are homeless. After the mural was complete, she began using it as a landmark to meet people who needed her help. 

Interstruct offered its parking lot as a privately owned location where Desire could openly feed the homeless and offer assistance. To each of Desire’s ideas, Interstruct provides the financial support, location, tents, tables, chairs, restrooms, hand-washing stations, signage, and more. In 2021, Interstruct established a new website 814westchurch.com to share event details with those we hope to serve, and to help volunteers and sponsors get involved. Blog posts and photos for each event are on Interstruct’s website, under the “Community” tab of Post + Beam

“Thanksgiving with a Friend” in 2021 fed 300 people experiencing homelessness in Parramore. View from Interstruct’s new HQ in Parramore at 814 W. Church St.

2021 Unity Mural Project events

Two successful holiday events in 2020 were recognized at the 2020 Golden Brick Awards. The Unity Mural Project’s momentum continued through 2021 with four unique events at 814 W. Church Street, serving nearly 1,000 people. 

Three of the 2021 Unity Mural Project events provided direct comfort and care to our Parramore neighbors experiencing homelessness. Services included hot meals, free groceries, robust hygiene bags, free haircuts and clothing, and private health care screenings.

Building on a successful event from 2020, Winter Wonderland created special memories and provided bikes, toys and gift cards for 200 families in need of “a holiday hand.” For this final event of 2021, Jen Desire and Interstruct CEO Ryan Young went all-in to create a festive party with snow, pictures with Santa, a hot chocolate bar with all the toppings, a gift wrapping station, gingerbread-house making, and of course, gift giving. 

In 2021, four Unity Mural Project events directly served 950 individuals and families in need in the Parramore neighborhood. 

Special thanks to the dozens of committed volunteers

Dozens of volunteers – including chefs, barbers (Nicole & friends), and health care professionals – are committed to making each event a huge success. Special thanks to Allied Health Florida and The Center Orlando for providing private health screenings; and to photographer Tony Ramzy who documents every event and makes his subjects feel like honored guests. 

Interstruct is committed to the ongoing community engagement in Parramore and hosts all of these events out of its parking lot at 814 W. Church Street, providing the financial support to bring Jennifer Desire’s ideas  into reality. 

Though the mural itself has been decommissioned, it lives on as a remembered landmark where people know they can connect with Jen and find the help they need.

Learn about past Unity Mural Project Events

Winter Wonderland, A Holiday Festival, December 2021

Thanksgiving with a Friend, November 2021

Hygiene Bags for the Homeless, July 2021

Father’s Day Grocery Giveaway, June 2021

Thanksgiving with a Friend” and “A Holiday Hand” at the Mural on Church Street, November and December 2020

The artists and activist of the Unity Mural on Church Street, 2020

How the Unity Mural Project was recognized in three categories at the Downtown Orlando Partnership’s 2020 Golden Brick Awards.