These are the stories and artwork of people who found themselves without
a place they could call "home".
The definition of being "homeless" is either living on the
street, in a car, or in an overcrowded or unsafe situation.
According to a March 2000 survey by the Census Bureau, there are approximately
280,527 homeless people around the country. Most homeless people have
a substance abuse problem, mental illness or disability.
Due to the homelessness circumstances of their parent(s), children are
In general, the public-at-large view homeless people with apathy, disdain
or fear. A goal for this project is to provide a creative forum for participants
to express their feelings and use their experiences to create a better
understanding of their plight, and the issues involved. Another goal is
to help generate compassion for those homeless people who truly need and
want help to change their living conditions and re-enter the mainstream
as a functioning member of the community.
This project was initiated with residents currently living in a transitional
housing facility in Miami-Dade County. These participants, most who have
never before used art to express themselves, were guided through a process
in which they visualized how homelessness has affected them, wrote about
their feelings and experiences, and brought them to life through colorful
Center for Folk and Community Art (CFCA) has joined with Carrfour
Supportive Housing, Inc. to produce this movable mural project.
CFCA's mission is to use visual art as both a tool of intervention and
a method of education to impact community issues and improve the human
condition. Carrfour's mission is to develop supportive housing
and maximize item self-sufficiency of formerly homeless adults and families,
as well as those at risk of homelessness in Miami-Dade County.
Panels will be added to this mural as CFCA artists facilitate new workshops.
Due to liver problems and Agent Orange, my self-medications
progressed to illegal drugs which caused my eventual downfall. Through
continued therapy, I am beginning to make baby steps, again.
J.M., age 59
As the years started to take hold of me and I found
myself all alone, when I gave up and let go, a little voice inside of
me reminded me to have faith.
JoseLuis, age 44
I am a disabled Vet. I was a firefighter, but because
of injuries I can't do that any more. I was on the Burial Team. It was
my responsibility to present the flag to the widows.
A.G., age 51
When I became homeless, it opened my eyes to a lot
of things that I had taken for granted. Being homeless was a very unique
learning experience in survival.
T.S., age 52
At the end of each day worked, I feel rewarded, joyful
and jubilant, knowing that throughout the day I have the opportunity to
motivate, encourage and empower my residents to be the best of their potential.
I would like people to be compassionate and understanding
of homeless people because the people who are, or who have been, homeless
are the people who need love the most.
Paul W, age 50
People do not like homeless people that sleep on the
street and smoke dope and drink liquor. I want to live my life out as
peacefully as I can. I want to go fishing in my old age and live out life
like other people do.
Gilbert W., age 69
When I was on drugs, I lived where I could; on the
street, in the park, wherever. Some days were okay, but most were hell
on earth. Being a woman with no hope was not a good thing. Today, free
from the grips of violence, drugs and alcohol, I have my life back and
on a ring.
D.J., Age 44