Linda King: My Experience with Homelessness November 14, 2016 14:57

From November 12th-20th, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week will take place. This week is meant to bring awareness to people across the country who face hunger and homelessness each day. The facts are staggering: 578,000 Americans are homeless on a typical night, 49 million are at risk of suffering from hunger, and 1 in 5 children live in poverty, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. For many of these people, being without a home can be heart-wrenching. But for some, art allows them to find a home within themselves. 

It takes a lot of energy and concentration to deal with the hoops you need to jump through to survive homelessness. Look a little closer and you might see someone holding on to life with everything they’ve got. Spend some time eating in a soup kitchens. As you sit around a table you may see sisters and brothers, mothers and children, aunts and uncles. Soup kitchens are humanizing places where the breaking of bread is a sacred communion of extended family.

"Art Jam" by Linda King

"Art Jam" by Linda King

Before I myself experienced homelessness, I put that part of the population in the category of alcoholics or drug users. That seems to be a pervasive misconception, and one that isn’t accurate. Poverty and a lack of resources probably play a larger role. I did not fully comprehend how interesting, creative and/or mentally ill we homeless often are.Art has given me a refuge, even when I had no place to call home. Through creating art, I have found a home within myself that can never be taken away, a restorative place that cleanses my soul everyday.

As a featured artist on ArtLifting, I have sold an original piece of art within ten days of being live on the site! That was so exciting for me. ArtLifting gives me another voice. I feel ArtLifting folks get who I am and what I can be, and that feels empowering.

By Linda King 

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