Social Worker Using Art to Help Homeless People

Social Worker Using Art to Help Homeless People


– Tell me how you’re feeling today, but only tell me the color. Don’t tell me the emotion,
just give me the color. – My name’s Christopher;
I’m feeling yellow. – I’m CeeCee Williams, for the camera, and those who don’t know me. (laughing) And orange, I’m orange, I’m always orange. (percussive music) – Hi everybody, I am at Urban Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina. And behind me is the art class. And earlier this week,
I happened to sit in on the theater class, and blown away. So much human interaction and dignity, and healing and community
that I wasn’t able to capture on camera. So watch this video, but know it’s like a gazillion times more amazing
than I was able to show. (percussive music) – We’re doing like an
abstract self portrait. What we’re doing is we’re utilizing just the outline, the
silhouette, of our regular, like a photograph of ourselves. And then from there we’re going to, I’ve asked everyone to choose colors that they really, maybe see day to day, colors that they feel day to day, to fill in their self portrait. – Every time they say art, I’m like, oh they gonna play with papers. And I ain’t got time
to play with no papers. But I had a picture,
and it’s so beautiful, and it represents me. Purple, gold, and black, and brown, and blue-eyed baby, that’s me. Oh we are magnificent, we
can do some creative things in a little bit of time. I’m staying in my tent. It’s rough sometimes because
the rain comes through and it gets soaking wet. People that live on the street, don’t always have to
be strung out on drugs and crack, and all the
bad stuff that folks claim that we are strung out on. I am, my criminal history,
is no criminal history. No drugs, no alcohol,
no cigarette smoking, just a church-going woman. (percussive music) – I draw art, I use my hurts
and my pains that I feel, to put ’em in colors and make pieces out of things that hasn’t been used, and only have a little bit
of, because I feel like life is not useless, everything
has a purpose in life. To be able to be used,
even if it’s not seen for what it’s really worth,
once you put it all together, it makes it a whole. – The art studio, a long
time ago, started as a… as a means of engagement for individuals experiencing homelessness,
because what happens is, it’s really hard in a
typical setting to be able to interact with a social
worker when you have severe and persistent
mental health issues, or just even trust issues, PTSD, whatever you’re experiencing. And there were some guys
that just really recognized how powerful art could
be as a healing tool and began utilizing that
for individuals here at Urban Ministries Center. Well, over the course of
time, because our mission here at Urban Ministries
Center is to end homelessness, it’s sort of morphed into this space where no only is it a place for healing, a place where art allows
people to either step away from what they’re experiencing outside, or to really put on paper
what they’re experiencing as a catharsis. It’s also a chance for,
I’m also a social worker, I have a background in theater, and it allows me a chance
to get to know people, hear their story, and work with them on a plan towards housing. Because ultimately that’s our goal, is so people are not homeless anymore. – So what’s interesting to me is several of these people I have
met outside at their tent camp or on the bus bench. And they’re completely different in here, completely different,
whole different persona. – Really? That’s
encouraging for me to hear. It’s easy to get in the day to day lost in working toward, obviously we don’t want
people to be on the street, so that’s our number one goal. But it’s really nice to hear that people, this is a safe space for
them to be who they are and feel safe, and feel
comfortable, and relax. I mean for four hours, right,
three and a half hours a day, to feel like they can breath. (percussive music) – I stay in a tent. People used to attack my campsite. So pack it up every morning
and set up every night. – Some of the situation
is due to circumstances, that both my parents passed away. I been coming here to get my mind off it. (percussive music) – I just think it’s important to provide space for people to create,
because I really believe that was, at our core, that’s
what we were made to do, like created to do. So I think we are all
creative in some capacity and so it helps us tap back into a natural instinct that we all have, and get out of our own heads, so thanks.

56 thoughts on “Social Worker Using Art to Help Homeless People”

  1. I love this concept,not only is art therapeuticbut it also is a way to help the voiceless and displaced speak their truth. I'm a disabled Veteran,Therapist and living in a city where homelessness is an abstract backdrop to the city skyline. It doesn't matter which direction you are driving you cant help but be affected by those who are struggling to make their lives better. I want to open a Coffeehouse where I can employ Veterans and those who are trying to find their way out ,I hope to deliver this under a not for profit status where a percentage of the proceeds will go directly back into the community to help establish normalcy in their lives. Thanks for always delivering to us what most people often ignore bravo,and Bonzai.๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿ“ฟ๐Ÿ’œ #invisiblepeople

  2. I wish this video had been longer!!!! The people seem so much more relaxed and peaceful in this setting. It would be nice to ask them what they were thinking when they are at the art workshop. Hopefully the serenity gained this way will help them in their struggles to gain housing and employment. The lady dressed in yellow, who is staff, has a calming effect of her own!

  3. I love this. As an artist, and as one who follows (and videos) the music scene, as well as some of the art-scene, in Austin…, it has given me a great idea. I am talking it over with some district folk I happen to know, downtown, and I am going to see if it is possible to start something similar.
    It will not be visual art. Or, it will not be that, mainly.. I think we can do something wonderful.
    Cheers!

  4. I'm very grateful for all that you do and doing art is a good outlet to be able to do something inspiring and it helps in many ways thank you for giving them love and care

  5. This has got to be one brightest ideas ever if I would've had a place to go like this when I was homeless it would've been more bearable !!

  6. What a wonderful programme, and so much hidden talent too. I feel now that I would like to start up something here maybe in a church hall. Thank you for sharing this video.

  7. What a thoughtful and kind woman to get this up and running for the homeless, They are lucky to have her! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. I'm feeing green…

    Not sick green..not smoke green,

    But Courage, Nature, and Hope Green.

    Willfully spoke these words, while I smoke trees,
    That line starts a lil rap for my brokskeezs
    And that game, I peep the flow like a bats vein.
    Talent is lacking, and whack attracts fame,
    Go ask that gang… Gucci this, ma-terialistic bitch,
    I'm the Monster that goes bump in the night and I dont act tame.
    Stay breathin one step away from homeless,
    One breath from even knowing what's next, I just be in the moment
    So when time strikes hard and you feel like folding
    But you can't cause you got some other shit unfolding
    Kicked man while he's down, got his rage on loaded,
    But you dont got the energy to make to face show it,

    Im a stop there… I dont even rap. Not promoting nothing. Just a people sub. Thats my first written. I'm 27. I of course can freestyle, have freestyled on maybe 5 occasions physically. Maybe like another 15 in my head. I'm an artist though. Thanks love you all๐Ÿ™ . pray for everyone on hard times.

  9. that is a deep valid statement that woman just made just because your homeless does NOT mean that you automatically have a history of violence / drugs and alcohol !!!!!

  10. It touched my heart to hear the guy describe how nothing is useless and everything in life has a purpose . Love his artwork too . A lot of them are very talented and you really see there happier more playfully side shine through !

  11. How is this really helping homelessness? Think about it. Her entire description on their โ€œmissionโ€, is very vague..How will this help people find homes? If the art gives you hope, good for you I guess? But getting them off the streets just for a couple hours, just so they can paint a picture?..Not really helping homelessness as a whole in my opinion..

  12. Is Hurricane Dorian having an effect on this part of NC yet? I hope everyone is safe. I liked watching this piece. It's true that art can take us to so many places in our minds if we just sit there & let the colors flow!

  13. ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿฆ‹โœ๏ธ we are all the colors combined. We are literally be spark โšก๏ธ of the divine. Just a church going woman. AMEN my luv!!! This was beautiful. I. Am. Pink๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒธ my black Honda my home my red heart is open n my dark black hair is turning white…….do not walk on earth as one color. Be them all. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ˜Žโœ๏ธ๐ŸŒบ

  14. I absolutely love this!!!! Art can be so healing, and gives you such a good feeling. I really enjoyed the artwork that I saw. ๐Ÿ’• love and prayers to all

  15. I just saw in my notifications that YouTube messages is ending Sept 18th. I wanted to tell you thank you so much for all your post! I don't have a church family but have found so much encouragement and fellowship within the YouTube community on a few good channels like yours! Here I've learned so much about the homeless and how I can reach out to help.
    I'm very sad that the public forum discussions are getting shut down.
    I want to say your posts have really changed my understanding of society in general.
    God bless you always!๐Ÿ™

  16. You help them by helping them get into housing , after the art work they're still going to be homeless.I don't know maybe I'm wrong.

  17. People assume that all homeless are drug addicts or alcoholics. Not true. These idiots from the city of Las Vegas were actually out here offering syringes to everyone!

  18. This seems one of the most happiest colorful video on your channel! We need more organizations like this available! It brings in purpose and dignity to oneself!

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