Great talent can be found in surprising places. Todd P.’s artwork is more suited for galleries and museums than sidewalks, but that’s where it could be found for 30 years. “I never did narcotics,” he says, but avoiding drug addiction wasn’t enough for Todd to maintain stability. Struggles with mental health and alcoholism kept Todd on the streets for three decades. During those years, he attempted to produce art in any way he could—offering what he did manage to make for sale on the sidewalk.
Todd finally escaped homelessness thanks to ShelterCare’s Permanent Supported Housing and Behavioral Health programs, which provide housing and support services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness.
When asked what it meant to him to have a home after spending more than half his life on the streets, Todd answered, “It saved my life. It gave me a place to safely work from and be able to heal.”
The process of recovering from the physical, mental and emotional tolls that homelessness takes is multi-faceted, with housing being just one challenge. Cultivation of healthy mental practices and a sense of purpose are equally important. For an artist, an inability to create art is akin to losing one’s purpose or even having a homeless soul.
In the three years since joining the program, Todd’s met regularly with his care team learning “self support,” which he says allowed him to “start to get functional.”
The housing and healing facilitated by ShelterCare has resulted in Todd finding more purpose and success as an artist. His work has been shown in Eugene galleries and can be found on downtown murals. Most recently, his art has been featured on fineartamerica.com. In addition to working a regular job, Todd is creating a graphic design business utilizing his artwork. His experience with ShelterCare and overcoming homelessness has inspired him to help others. Todd states, “I look forward to giving back.”
He adds, “There is healing. There is recovery.”
To learn more about Todd’s inspiring story, visit this post from 2017: http://www.sheltercare.org/2017/05/art-brings-hope-healing-for-sheltercare-resident/