Expressive Art Program Brings Hope and Transformation
The path to homelessness can often involve a long series of setbacks, including physical, mental, financial, and spiritual well-being, to name a few.
It is not uncommon for one or more traumatic events to precede the gradual unraveling of one’s self-image.
When meeting with Veterans at Vets Place Central, it becomes evident that their level of self-worth and self-confidence have been severely battered. Shame can significantly prohibit a person’s desire and ability to reveal any honest self-revelation.
A significant effect of this LOSS OF SELF on so many levels makes the basic exchange of truth with another person all but impossible. There is just no willingness to share any truth about self. The risk to survival has become too great! Homeless persons become invisible to others. They feel like they do not matter. The risk of suicide or a fatal pattern of neglect becomes more severe after each failed attempt to recover or leave the Shelter.
Therefore, when a veteran gains a safe place to sleep, basic food security, and a golden opportunity to engage in a safe human encounter, it is imperative that attending Expressive Art sessions is offered, even required.
Initially, the veteran can observe veterans attempting to draw as a basic effort at risk-taking. Then, they witness others revealing drawings and verbalizing what they have drawn. This observation often enables the fearful veteran to take a chance, and their turn to draw breaks the self-imposed wall of isolation.
A4TH, through expressive art, can reach the “hidden self” within the homeless veteran. At VPC, the veteran may be living on BORROWED TIME!
The chances for any life free of drugs, suicide, or overdosing are running shorter each day!
When they draw a part of who they are, the words of support from other veterans can validate that they are a unique and acknowledged human beings. The mutual sharing of these genuine personal glimpses shared in the session with other veterans can spark thoughts of hope. The giving and receiving of such a legitimate exchange between veterans can open an essential door to a person’s soul.