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How Utah Saved Millions Of People And Solved Chronic Homelessness

 

Utah's fight against chronic homelessness initially began back in 2003, yet actually had surged ever since the early 1970s. Costs regarding this were also soaring as well. A study from the University of Pennsylvania had also showed that New York City was spending approximately $40,500 annually on each homeless person who was dealing with mental issues. From there, a solution was developed: provide homes to those who need them the most.

 

It was shown that this solution not only would greatly reduce the number of chronic homeless on the streets, but it would also drastically cut spending as well. Many who heard this solution described how much it made sense to them, and were asked if they would be willing to go to Utah to work with those involved to help make it a reality.

 

More than ten years later, chronic homelessness may soon come to an end in the state of Utah, which is considered to be perhaps one of the most conservative states in the entire nation. Back in 2005, the state recorded nearly 1,932 homeless people, and by the time 2014 came around, that number dropped to 539 – a whole 72%. Gordon Walker, Utah's Director of Housing and Community Development Division, states that Utah is approaching a “functional zero” because of this plan that has been implemented. He also announced that more exciting news would be announced soon that would generate an even larger headline, but refused to elaborate any further on what that may involve.

 

The initial thought of giving homes to homeless people was quite absurd due to the fact that a lot of them victims of serious trauma and issues involving addiction and mental health. Thousands more have spend countless nights on the streets and aren't familiar with living in an actual home anymore. However, the general consensus in Utah was that if you want to end homelessness, then you have to put a homeless person in a home.  

 

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!
 

Event for the Homeless Outreach Street Team

Event for the Homeless Outreach Street Team

 

The Art from the Streets organization was thrilled to be invited to participate in an event that was hosted by the Office of Innovation on Monday morning. The city of Austin was recently given a grant in order to help tackle the problem of homelessness. With that grant in mind, the purpose of this event was for the Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST) to survey the homeless and see how effective the programs in place are and what they can do to improve them. The goal of HOST is to be able to help the homeless population get back on their feet and avoid a situation that is detrimental to their health or where the law has to be involved.

Our part in this event was to create a pop up interactive art piece where the homeless were able to take a break from the surveying and paint using pastels. The amount of people who joined in was amazing and at one point we even had some of the workers jump in and paint! This interactive piece was a fun and soothing experience for all of those who joined in and even to those who just stood and stared as the artists painted.

  

It was very satisfying to watch the canvas go from black and white to a sea of colors. This event was a wonderful way to not only get the word out about our program but to also help those who attended to explore their creative side.

 

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 To Consider Addition Of Overflow Homeless Shelter In Additional Neighborhood

Austin To Consider Addition Of Overflow Homeless Shelter In Additional Neighborhood

There are currently plans to consider the addition of a homeless shelter in an additional neighborhood in the city of Austin. This past Thursday, members of City Council ordered that a city-owned building be found as soon as possible, which would then be converted into a temporary homeless shelter. This process is part of a continuing effort to reduce the overall size of downtown Austin's homeless population.

 

It's also because ARCH, or the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, is currently overflowing in terms of the building's population. In fact, the sidewalks that surround the building are about as busy as one might think they would be.

 

Kathie Tovo, Austin's Mayor Pro Tem, says that this is a problem on so many levels and that a solution needs to be found. Tovo also says that the homeless in downtown Austin deserve a shelter and also deserve to be removed from an environment that is rather conducive to crime, further stating that there is a risk of drug dealers potentially preying on the homeless population. Tovo feels that repurposing a city-owned building into a temporary homeless shelter for a period of approximately six months may be a good fix for the time being.

 

Staff was given two weeks by City Council to come up with a list of buildings that would fit the proper criteria, which means that the building must not only be safe, but also located near transit as well.

 

This resolution is different from one that was previously passed last October, in which City Council tasked staff with locating properties that would be able to serve as permanent housing and shelter for members of Austin's homeless community. This is a search that continues to be ongoing.

 

As Austin continues to grow and change, we will continue to be there for the homeless community through art.

 

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 Art Can Help Both Your Body And Mind

How Art Can Help Both Your Body And Mind

The relationship between the body and brain in terms of art really makes going to the local museum absolutely worthwhile. Art is something that has definitely helped to shape the society that we live in today, as we have constructed all sorts of galleries that house some of the finest pieces created by the best talent in the entire world; however, is science able to actually measure the overall effect that art has on us?

 

The simple answer to that question is yes.

 

First and foremost, art is great at reducing our overall stress levels. A recent Westminster study showed that those who took part in it, which included a lunchtime visit to a local art gallery, experienced a reduction in their stress levels after visiting the gallery, and even spent an extra 35 minutes checking out the space in any way that they were able to.

 

The biggest catch, however, was that they only experienced a decrease in cortisol, or the main hormone that causes stress, if someone who already had high levels of the hormone already went into the gallery.

 

It's also been proven that the brain is essentially hardwired to process various forms of art. What that means is that portions of the brain that are associated with factors such as contemplation automatically become sparked whenever someone begins to view works of art. This is also the case even if they aren't spending any time thinking about art in a critical sense. The expectation is that the brain will recognize faces and process scenes more whenever someone looks at art. On the other hand, portions of the brain that are linked to different emotions will also show activity as well.

 

Perhaps the biggest benefits, however, come from actually producing art in some form, regardless of what it is. In this same study, there were two groups of retirees. One group was provided with lessons from an art educator and were tasked with creating pieces that essentially displayed their own personal artistic expression. The other group, meanwhile, was more of a discussion class, in which talks were held in regards to specific sculptures and paintings. Before and after each process, each group had their brains scanned, and out of each group, the one that created art was found to have had the best neural benefit as opposed to the other group.

 

Art can often easily be taken for granted a lot of times; however, it can also lead to all of us becoming much healthier and obtaining an increased amount of brain activity.

 

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!
 

Five Great Mental Health Benefits Of Art

Five Great Mental Health Benefits Of Art

When it comes to art, there's no secret that it certainly has its share of misconceptions. Some people feel that in order to consider yourself a real artist, you have to create something such as a sculpture or painting, while others believe that you either are or are not born with talent. However, every one of us are born with the desire and ability to express ourselves, and art is a wonderful way to achieve this, especially in terms of our mental health.

 

Here are five of the best mental health benefits of art.

 

Art Relieves Stress

Drawing, sculpting, painting, etc. are great ways to lower your overall stress levels and make you feel much better mentally. Essentially, it provides a distraction that will give your brain a much-needed break from all of your usual ways of thinking. Perhaps one of the most popular artistic stress relievers, especially nowadays, is coloring books, many of which have been created specifically with stress relief in mind.

 

Art Helps To Encourage Creative Thinking

As opposed to math, art doesn't require any kind of a correct answer. Instead, you can come up with your own type of solution and further stimulate your brain with this type of creative thinking. This is especially the case since you will be able to use both hemispheres of your brain.

 

Art Helps To Boost Self-Esteem and Offer a Sense of Accomplishment

Similar to hanging a child's artwork somewhere can boost their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment, doing the same with your own artwork can create the same type of effect. Even better is the fact that you don't have to create something that looks absolutely perfect in order to obtain these feelings, and it doesn't even matter what type of art you create, whether its drawing, photography, or even knitting.

 

Art Encourages Brain Activity

Whenever you engage in any kind of a new activity, your brain begins working to create connections between all of your different brain cells. In terms of creating art, this helps to stimulate all sorts of connections between various portions of your brain itself.

 

Art Improves the Overall Quality of Life in Dementia Patients

Art has been shown to enhance factors such as memory and cognitive abilities, especially in those who suffer from serious mental disorders such as dementia. While it's been shown that different types of drug treatments generally don't work very well in these individuals, creating art provides a great sense of pleasure for them. This is because it has been shown to greatly improve their self-esteem and social behavior, as well as reduce various psychiatric symptoms associated with their disorder.

 

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!