In 2014, with generous funding from the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland Ministry Endowment Fund, Ursuline ArtSpace, founded by its Director Sister Kathleen Burke, OSU, Ph.D, ATR-BC, LPC-S, over a decade ago, was able to extend and enhance its services further into the community to serve vulnerable and at-risk youth and adults throughout Cleveland. One of the three organizations that this initial funding has benefited is Front Steps Housing and Services . Front Steps Housing and Services offers safe housing and a structured environment to help women and men make the changes in their lives that lead to self-sufficiency and independence. Front Steps serves as a catalyst for social change by supporting residents as they transform their lives and by working towards an end to homelessness.
Since 2014, Ursuline ArtSpace Outreach Services Coordinator Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC has provided a monthly art therapy group on-site to empower positive decision making, self-awareness, manage traumatic stress, and strengthen coping skills through art. In 2015, Ursuline ArtSpace Outreach collaborated with Front Steps on a major art therapy grant awarded to the agency by The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County. This additional funding increased group services provided by ArtSpace Outreach to every week for Front Steps clients, alumni and community organizations in Cleveland that are serving adults living with homelessness and mental health recovery. And good news for 2016: more funding for this art therapy programming at Front Steps has been renewed by the ADAMHS Board!
On December 17, 2015 Front Steps hosted an Art Therapy Exhibit and Open House to celebrate the group work and its participants who have been part of the art therapy program throughout this year. It was very moving to witness such heartfelt testimonies & gratitude about the power of art therapy from participants, ADAMHS Board representatives in attendance, & Front Steps Staff (Regina Spicer, Program Director and Sherri Brandon, Executive Director pictured below).
To learn more about Ursuline ArtSpace's Outreach sites and programming, please visit: http://www.ursulineartspace.com/Outreach.html
Photo credit: Katie Kern Pilch