Vinnies says recreation programs can combat homelessness
St Vincent de Paul Society Homeless Services President Pat O'Flynn has said that educative programs such as art and creative writing can give homeless persons the confidence to move beyond crisis towards independent living.
In a statement for this week's Homeless Persons Week, he said: "If men know that they are able to create a painting that is truly their own they can use the growing confidence in their skills and abilities to bring about positive change in their lives."
Vinnies conducts courses in the creative arts through Charles O'Neill House and the Matthew Talbot Hostel in inner Sydney. The courses aim to discover abilities and raise self esteem in the hope of breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Works produced by course participants are being exhibited in an exhibition that opens last night at the TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst, in Sydney. The event, which is titled Kaliedescope and runs until Thursday next week, showcases the "incredible" artistic ability of homeless persons.
The Vinnies statement points out that the act of producing one's own art is an "educative process", which is distinct from training for a job. It says the Kaliedescope exhibition showcases one medium by which homeless persons can "discover their creative abilities to express and explore themselves" while questioning the world and their place in it. This, it argues, is "a first step to becoming an interactive member of the community".
St Vincent de Paul Society
Art Project for the Edward Eager Lodge (Sisters of Charity Foundation)
6 Aug 2003