Title

POETRY AT THE POVERELLO CENTER: A LOOK AT INTELLECTUAL ENGAGEMENT AMONG THE HOMELESS

Presenter Information

Jennifer Johnson
Rachel Rossi

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In the heart of downtown Missoula, the Poverello Center (Pov) stands tall but rickety. Though the shelter serves nearly 350 low-income Missoulians a day, it offers few classes to enrich the lives of its clients. The Pov suffers from having few resources for such programs. Fortunately, one employee began a poetry workshop for the residents. As students involved with the University of Montana’s Inequality and Social Justice course, “Hunger and Homelessness” we chose to focus our research on the new poetry workshop. We were particularly interested in discovering how the workshop’s implementation affected the residents. Through the use of field notes, volunteering, and interviews, we tracked how access to creative classes impacted the clients. Specifically, we were interested in answering the question, “How does intellectual engagement impact the quality of life among the residents?” In order to determine this, we drew upon data we had collected in the form of field notes. By attending these workshops, interacting with the clients and volunteering, we hoped to garner an understanding of how workshops such as this change the clients’ perspectives of the Pov, their sense of community and general outlook. We conducted recorded interviews with the clients about their experiences and plan on sharing our findings with the Pov in an effort to promote classes for the homeless in their new facility.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 1:40 PM Apr 15th, 2:00 PM

POETRY AT THE POVERELLO CENTER: A LOOK AT INTELLECTUAL ENGAGEMENT AMONG THE HOMELESS

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In the heart of downtown Missoula, the Poverello Center (Pov) stands tall but rickety. Though the shelter serves nearly 350 low-income Missoulians a day, it offers few classes to enrich the lives of its clients. The Pov suffers from having few resources for such programs. Fortunately, one employee began a poetry workshop for the residents. As students involved with the University of Montana’s Inequality and Social Justice course, “Hunger and Homelessness” we chose to focus our research on the new poetry workshop. We were particularly interested in discovering how the workshop’s implementation affected the residents. Through the use of field notes, volunteering, and interviews, we tracked how access to creative classes impacted the clients. Specifically, we were interested in answering the question, “How does intellectual engagement impact the quality of life among the residents?” In order to determine this, we drew upon data we had collected in the form of field notes. By attending these workshops, interacting with the clients and volunteering, we hoped to garner an understanding of how workshops such as this change the clients’ perspectives of the Pov, their sense of community and general outlook. We conducted recorded interviews with the clients about their experiences and plan on sharing our findings with the Pov in an effort to promote classes for the homeless in their new facility.