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      News — homeless

      Common causes of homelessness

      Common causes of homelessness

      Many people don’t realize that the line between being homeless and not being homeless is very thin for a lot of people. Many people do not have family members to fall back on in hard times and much of America is living paycheck to paycheck, meaning they are one paycheck away from homelessness. Also keep in mind homelessness is usually caused by several factors over time. Here are some of those factors. 

      Money

      As mentioned early people are often one paycheck away from losing their housing. People who are poor are frequently unable to pay for necessities such as housing, food, childcare, health care, and education. Being poor can mean a person is one illness, one accident or one paycheck away from living on the streets. There are many reasons why someone would come into hard times and not make enough to cover bills and expenses. 

      Substance abuse 

      Much of the homeless population struggles with addiction. It could be to alcohol or drugs but the result is the same. They spend their money on the item they are addicted to eventually leading to missed rent payments and eviction. In order to break the addiction cycle the person has to receive consistent treatment for their addiction.

      Traumatic Events 

      This includes house fires, accidents that result in major injuries or the loss of a job. Many events fall in this category and these are things that are hard to plan for and nearly impossible to prevent. Sometimes things happen which is why it is important for communities to have programs to help support people in these vulnerable states.

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!
       

      How mental illness can lead to homelessness

      How mental illness can lead to homelessness

      People with poor mental health are more susceptible to three factors that can lead to homelessness: poverty, lack of support system and impaired judgement. In turn, homelessness worsens mental health. It is draining physically and mentally to have no routine, high stress and exposure to the elements. People with mental illness also experience homelessness for longer periods of time.

      Poverty

      People with mental illnesses often have trouble retaining work with a steady income or are simply incapable of working. In these instances it is vital that they be supported by a community or loved ones. Often times people are one paycheck away from homelessness and this is even more true for people with mental illness than the general population. 

      Lack of support system 

      Mental illnesses may prevent people from forming and maintaining stable relationships. Relationships and community are often the only thing between someone with a mental illness and a life on the street. They often push away caregivers/family and friends that are the people providing them with routine and making sure they receive their medication, eat regularly and live a fulfilled life. Serious mental illnesses disrupt people’s ability to carry out essential aspects of daily life, such as self care and household management and often need someone guiding them through these routines.

      Impaired judgement

      Mental illnesses can cause impaired judgement making daily life harder. It often is also mixed with substance abuse. Many people try self-medicating and end up in vicious cycles of alcoholism. This combination of mental illness, substance abuse and poor physical health makes it very difficult for people to hold down jobs and pull themselves out of homelessness themselves.

      Even if housing is provided for people with mental illnesses it won’t change the cycle they are in unless they receive regular treatment and continued guidance. Homelessness is not, and should not be, the default for people with mental illness.

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!
       

      Why Art Therapy is Good for the Brain

      Why Art Therapy is Good for the Brain

      Art stimulates the brain and can help bring back memories and reignite speech which is why it is so helpful for people with Alzheimer’s. Patients can use it as a form of expression when their other senses are failing them.

       While art therapy won’t eliminate the disease it can help improve cognitive function and allow the patient to express themselves, in turn helping relieve symptoms like aggression. According to the Alzheimer’s Association “art projects can create a sense of accomplishment and purpose.”

       When planning an art project for someone with Alzheimer’s keep it on an adult level, use non-toxic materials and allow plenty of time for the completion of the art. Any time dedicated to creating art should be in a relaxing and peaceful environment.

      Alzheimer’s patients often get very frustrated because they can no longer communicate with the world around them in the same way they used to be able to. Creating art is a way for them to communicate and create something. This gives them a purpose and a sense of accomplishment.

      The 2009 documentary I Remember Better When I Paint showcases an example of how art therapy helps improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s. The way the disease works, short-term memory and speech are affected much earlier in the diseases progression. Creativity and emotion remain much further into the progression of the disease. This allows for this kind of expression through art therapy for patients in later stages of the disease. 

      There are numerous first-hand experiences boasting the success of art therapy for dementia patients but research is lacking evidence. The trials that have happened have been small trials that lack focus. Funding for trials would come from the government where they are focused on biological, preventative measures. However, the first-hand accounts of the success of art therapy in bettering a patient’s life gives hope.

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!
       

      Austin Initiative Seeking Outside Investors To Help Fight Homelessness

      Austin Initiative Seeking Outside Investors To Help Fight Homelessness

      Travis County is set to be the first city in Texas to utilize an initiative that's designed to provide services to and house up to 250 homeless people. The initiative would require outside investors to pay certain costs upfront, and if all goals are met, to then be reimbursed by the local government.

      Pay For Success,” as the initiative is currently known, has, as of late, become extremely popular throughout the United States. The first initiative of its kind was originally launched in the United Kingdom back in 2010.

      Investors would, according to the details of the initiative, cover the costs of projects that address various social issues. If the initiative is successful, the investors are then repaid by the local government, which could include a substantial return on their investment.

      When launched in Travis County, the initiative would house up to 250 homeless people, as previously stated. This would likely be done through subsidized rental housing partnered with case management and similar services. The main targets would be those who frequently use health care, emergency medical resources, have been arrested frequently, and shelter.

      Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, also known as ECHO, is currently spearheading the project, which is expected to cost around $15 million; however, ECHO would actually need to secure approximately $17 million in pledges form the government in order to cover all investor returns.

      So far, around $1.3 million has been donated to help get the project off the ground. Assurances from three local governmental entities have also been received, which stated that they will cover the majority of the reimbursement funding.

      All of the specific benchmarks are currently scheduled to be determined during a final meeting between organizers and local governments.

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!
       

      Three ways you can support Austin homeless artists

      Three ways you can support Austin homeless artists

      Normally, people hearing about supporting the arts think all that means is they have to donate money to organizations that are both local and regional; however, there are other methods in which support can be shown, especially to artists who are homeless.

      Here are three of them to make note of.

      Donate Supplies

      Whether they're your own that you no longer use or whether you choose to purchase new ones, take the time to donate supplies to the artists so that they can continue to create beautiful work. They will especially appreciate this in the event that some supplies they have are starting to get worn out.

      Commission Pieces from Them

      One common thing that homeless people need in order to survive is money. This means that by speaking to a homeless artist and commissioning one or more pieces from them, not only will you be able to obtain great artwork for your home, office, etc., but you'll also be able to provide the artists with financial assistance in return for their work, which will help them with such things as buying food, something to drink, etc.

      Share the Artist's Work and Your Experience with Them on Social Media

      Many people enjoy sharing all sorts of things on social media. You could consider sharing one or more pieces of artwork that you receive from a homeless artist. In turn, this could cause other people to seek out that same artists and commission pieces from them, which can then provide them with enough money to obtain some of the most basic necessities that they need. 

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!