(Photo by Amanda Morales Pratt)
This summer, adolescents at Norris Square Neighborhood Project have been volunteering at St. Francis’ House and creating art around youth homelessness.
That art will be showcased at community garden Las Parcelas. The exhibit, called “With + Without Youth,” and will feature video, silkscreen, performances, original music, and street art-style projects, plus an assortment of handmade soaps and candles available for purchase. Ten percent of those proceeds will go to St. Francis’ House.
“Youth are working on the intersectionality of homelessness and what that means for their own experiences in their community,” said Education Director Gabriela Sanchez in a statement. “They are exploring ways that they can make or create impact through their research and creative processes on the theme of homelessness as well as thinking about how they can be advocates in their own learning experience.”
In their own words, working with people experiencing homelessness has been a valuable learning experience for those participating.
“Interviewing people experiencing homelessness makes you aware they are just like us. They are fully aware that there are difficult decisions you make in life,” said NSNP youth Dayshalee Sanchez. “Drug addiction is common with them and is really hard to get off. People treat people experiencing homelessness like they are a different species of human but they are just people.”
NSNP youth Kevin Lasene said he had “fun” volunteering. But it’s been a sobering experience, nonetheless.
“I think it’s crazy what they’ve gone through,” he said. “Someone should do something about homelessness.”