Holy Cross’ Tri-Community Parish in Colorado is creatively reaching out to youths living on the streets or in temporary housing in Colorado Springs.
Sacred Heart Church, part of the Tri-Community Parish, is providing space for a new art studio for young adults, ages 12 to 21. Westside CARES, a faith-based organization that provides emergency assistance to those with critical needs, has agreed to fund the art studio through May 1, when additional money will be needed. It is geared towards teens who are living on the streets or in temporary housing, including rehab shelters.
Open three days a week for four hours a day, the space allows teens to express their inner-most feelings and struggles through painting. The aim is to provide a healthy, nurturing environment to kids who might otherwise find trouble on the streets. The project was the vision of Tri-Community parishioner Lisa Lundquist.
Response has been positive. In the three weeks the art studio has been open, about 40 teens have participated in the program. Supervisors say some of the paintings are sad and dark, but that the process of creating a picture of the reality of their life is helping the teens to understand how to move forward in a healthier way.
Two Colorado Springs coffee shops have agreed to exhibit the works.