On the Housing First team at CMHA Toronto, we believe that housing is a human right. When someone has access to stable and secure housing, their life changes dramatically. We believe that having a place to call home allows people to flourish and grow, work on recovery goals, and make plans and hopes for the future. Through artistic pursuits, individuals from any walk of life can express themselves in a way that is uniquely theirs. The “Wear Your Art on Your Sleeve Project” aims to provide tools and a platform necessary for those who have experienced homelessness to showcase their talents and gifts. Expressing one’s experience is part of the healing journey; artwork in all forms can be a catalyst for hope and change.
Experiencing homelessness can impact anyone. We at the Housing First team believe that experiencing homelessness is not an end-point. We see the resilience and tenacity of those who have had to live without a home through the individuals we support. This project intends to allow space to tell those stories of strength through the vibrant artistry of the service users within the Housing First program.
Funded by community donations, Wear Your Art on Your Sleeve provides service users of the Housing First program with art supplies of their choice. The variety of skill sets and mediums presented reflect the diverse talent and unique identities of individuals involved in the program.
“We have all heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ but did you know that the creating, viewing and sharing of photographs is also therapeutic? A photo can show us what we value, who we are, it can create a story about our past, or a window looking out to our future.” – Pio Giralico, Manager of the Housing First Program
If you would like to donate to this initiative, you can do so, here.
Click our artists’ names below to view their talented artwork and read their inspiring stories:
Artwork photos taken by Zuckerman Studios.