Updated: Feb 4, 2022
“... we really need this. I feel like a lot of people need this space. It’s important for all of us. It’s like - we really need this. Just to express ourselves, to be us.”
These are the candid words of a currently unhoused child. This child, like so many others, shares how art has provided a vital outlet for self-expression. In our previous blog post, “How Does Art Help Homeless Children?'', we highlighted the research of Kaitlin Schwan, a Senior Researcher at The Canadians Observatory on Homelessness. Schwan includes a series of excerpts (including the one above) from interviews that she conducted with children experiencing homelessness in her article: Can Art Make a Difference? Mobilizing Arts to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness.
Another child in Schwan’s study shares “once the finished product is done, then I feel amazing… I think, ‘Oh, I can actually still do this, even though I went through this or went through that.’”
Moreover, another child remarks that art is “... very therapeutic. I think whether it be writing words on a page, like a journal, or whether it be drawing a picture. Your emotions go into that stroke of the pencil.”
It is apparent that art experiences create safe opportunities for healing and creativity. Like Schwan, we witness these beautiful moments first hand at drawchange. One child in our programs shares “drawchange gives me the freedom to express myself.”
By partnering with drawchange, you give children the opportunity to engage in life-changing art experiences. Whether it be a respite from challenging circumstances or an outlet to express their true selves, art has the power to change the trajectory of children’s lives. Partner with us by donating at drawchange.org/donate.
Schwan, K. (2017). Can art make a difference? Mobilizing the arts to prevent and end youth homelessness. Homeless Hub: Canada. Retrieved from: LINK
Schwan, K. J., Fallon, B., & Milne, B. (2018). “The one thing that actually helps”: Art creation as a self-care and health-promoting practice amongst youth experiencing homelessness. CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES REVIEW, 93, 355–364. Doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.08.002