Title

Avoiding the Blue Period in Homeless Populations: Creative Pursuits and Their Potential to Redefine Self Worth in Shelter Populations

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

As inequality grows, and social safety nets shrink due to dramatic funding reductions, homelessness is becoming a more pressing problem in our society. Shelters can provide food and housing to people experiencing homelessness, but may miss other opportunities for holistic aid because of funding based limitations. It has been well documented that Art therapies can help individuals overcome adversity or trauma. Used in therapeutic settings, art can enable individuals to communicate stresses and to create identities for themselves in a safe environment. Art therapies may provide a unique avenue to empower populations experiencing homelessness. This project seeks to understand how art therapies, and creative endeavors such as cooking, help redefine identities and bolster self worth in populations experiencing homelessness. In order to answer this question, I will conduct 36 hours of participant observation. Then I will identify themes in the data and write up my findings. Based on these observations, I expect to find that participants in both food preparation and art therapy develop different personal descriptors than those who are not participating. Knowing more about this topic can help shelters and other programs providing services to people experiencing homelessness create and sustain more holistic services.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 17th, 10:00 AM Apr 17th, 10:20 AM

Avoiding the Blue Period in Homeless Populations: Creative Pursuits and Their Potential to Redefine Self Worth in Shelter Populations

UC 327

As inequality grows, and social safety nets shrink due to dramatic funding reductions, homelessness is becoming a more pressing problem in our society. Shelters can provide food and housing to people experiencing homelessness, but may miss other opportunities for holistic aid because of funding based limitations. It has been well documented that Art therapies can help individuals overcome adversity or trauma. Used in therapeutic settings, art can enable individuals to communicate stresses and to create identities for themselves in a safe environment. Art therapies may provide a unique avenue to empower populations experiencing homelessness. This project seeks to understand how art therapies, and creative endeavors such as cooking, help redefine identities and bolster self worth in populations experiencing homelessness. In order to answer this question, I will conduct 36 hours of participant observation. Then I will identify themes in the data and write up my findings. Based on these observations, I expect to find that participants in both food preparation and art therapy develop different personal descriptors than those who are not participating. Knowing more about this topic can help shelters and other programs providing services to people experiencing homelessness create and sustain more holistic services.