by Lynne Saidac, TLC Associate Director
Every Tuesday afternoon I carry a bag of art supplies upstairs to PADS in the hopes that a few guests may want to relax for an hour and experience some creative expression. There are usually two to five people that I can coerce into joining in. I have hope that more will join as art making IS contagious! There are countless reasons that the process of art making is so important for us. For people who are homeless, the number of reasons can be endless. Art and self expression can be a healing process that, among other things, allows a person to reflect on oneself, feel a sense of accomplishment, enhance one’s self image and self esteem, build a sense of identity, affirm life and decrease one’s sense of isolation. Art really isn’t about the final product, it is about the process one experiences while creating their art.
Some guests who participate have extensive art skills, while others just enjoy the process. Everyone is welcome. One guest commented, “This art group helped me feel motivated again to do art, something I did when I was young. I love it.”
For guests in PADS, creating something tangible has a lot of meaning. It can be a declaration that “I do exist.” This can be very powerful. While we sit in this small room creating art, conversations begin. People tell their stories and receive validation, support and empathy. And at other times, the room is silent as guests focus on their work and their own personal thoughts. Still, at other times it is fun place to be with people simply enjoying themselves and each other. Guests have experienced some really hard times that many of us, thankfully, could not even imagine. To have a safe and supportive place to be able to be a little vulnerable to oneself while creating from one’s heart can be transformative.
If you are interested in donating art supplies to help sustain this outlet for guests, please contact Lynne at email@example.com or (630) 897-2156 x507.