Description of initiative
The project CREATIVE HOME(less) is an initiative for combating the stigma of being homeless through artistic practice. Creative Home(less) helps the homeless through art. The initiative offers art therapy to the residents of the Panevezys shelter, in Lithuania, to liberate them from the complexes of being homeless and encourage them to open up and reclaim their independence.
Creative Home(less) has seen 23 homeless participants get involved since February 2022, all of whom underwent fourteen hours of art therapy and worked in small groups of five or six people. The classes were given in several places, including the Local History Museum, the Panevėžys Photo Gallery and the Panevėžys Art Gallery. The sessions ended with a final group workshop and the opening of a public exhibition.
A positive relation was established with most of the participants, they opened up, felt accepted and deserved basic humanity in their everyday communication. The results were better than expected- 4 employed participants, 4 participants that moved from the hostel to live independently, some have found the courage to continue visiting the city cultural spaces by themselves and participating in similar activities. Furthermore the analysis of therapeutics drawings before and after participation reflected a partial reduction in stress levels and changes in controllability. Project’s team believes and the pilot proved that usual solutions are not enough for homeless people. A creativity, which encourages the creation that heals and grows us from the inside is vital.
Further information on the initiative
Themes: Culture and...
Sources of funding
Results, benefits, impact and lessons learnt
A positive relation was established with most of the participants, they opened up, felt accepted and deserved basic humanity in their everyday communication. At the beginning of the project, resistance from participants and poor attendance led to a change in the vision of the project's outcomes. We did everything possible, even using mini gifts to encourage attendance, adapted the schedule excluding the days(and several days after) when the allowance was paid, as participants were usually drunk during that week) However, overt time we realized that those participants who saw the value in art therapy did not need any additional motivation, all we had to do was to gain their trust in us, and the project's expected qualitative results were self-fulfilling, whether 4 of 23 participants found a job, or 4 moved out of the hostel to live independently. The integration into the cultural life of the city was both surprising and gratifying, as we received feedback from the cultural institutions of the city that project participants (outside the scheduled activities) come to the cultural places and say "hello, we came here to see an exhibition and we want to paint". Furthermore the analysis of therapeutics drawings before and after participation reflected a partial reduction in stress levels and changes in controllability. Hence, it can be said that both the short-term and long-term objectives of the project have been fully achieved.