Resilient Art YQL program offering a different experience at Lethbridge Soup Kitchen
A community program in Lethbridge is offering opportunities for those less fortunate to keep their minds on more creative ventures.
LETHBRIDGE -- The Lethbridge Soup Kitchen helps provide hot meals and a place in out of the cold for many of those in need in the community.
Thanks to an idea from a volunteer at the kitchen, and a Lethbridge College student, an art program called Resilient Art YQL has now been created for those who frequent the kitchen.
“I saw this huge need in this population for leisure and meaningful activity because I feel like we’re fulfilling these basic needs of food, water and shelter,” Resilient Art YQL founder Tannis Chartier said. “But we weren’t getting higher up on the chain to provide activity and meaning to their lives which is such a catalyst for bigger change.”
The artists who participate create pieces once a week which are then sold on the program’s Facebook page.
It’s only been in operation since August, but those who’ve attended a session say there are many benefits associated.
“It helps with dexterity in my hands and it keeps my mind from wandering about to other things like drugs and alcohol,” Chad Calfrobe, a participant at this week’s session, said.
The program not only provides entertainment and activity for those who partake, but it also has a tangible benefit.
The proceeds from the sales of the pieces go directly back to the creator to help them out.
“They don’t have a place to store their artwork so we sell it on the Resilient YQL page and the funds go back to their needs. So, I’ve helped people pay for medication, clothing, the odd Tim Horton’s card, lots of stuff like that since getting started,” Chartier said.
Organizers are trying to raise awareness about both the Facebook page for the broader community, as well as for those who come through the doors to try and grow the program to help more people.
Soup Kitchen executive director Bill Ginther says they’re always looking for different ways to get their clients involved in meaningful activity, and this new art program is a good step in that direction.
“It gets them off the street into a building where its warm, especially with this weather. I just think it’s great when we can collaborate in a way that can enhance the lives of our guests and that’s really what it’s all about.”