Youth Homelessness and Creative Expression

Creative expression can take many forms including art, photography, music, dance, writing, and poetry, to name a few. While many people may believe they must master the arts in order to express themselves creatively, research has shown there are proven benefits to engaging in the arts even at the most basic level. This can look like doodling on a piece of paper, writing short stories, creating a spoken word poem, or humming a silly song. The goal isn’t to be the best or to be perfect. What’s important is that youth have an outlet to express themselves in a healthy way.

Some benefits of artistic expression include:

  • Stress reduction 
  • Mental health recovery
  • Healing trauma 
  • Self-expression and discovery 
  • Developing self-confidence

Given the overwhelming stressors associated with youth homelessness, having creative outlets available to students is not only beneficial but perhaps even a necessity to fostering good mental health and emotional development. On top of the numerous mental and emotional benefits, creative expression gives youth a voice to share their experiences and stories. At After8toEducate, we seek to not only help students succeed in their educational pursuits but in all aspects of their lives. There is value in giving our students an outlet to express themselves and showcase their work.  With a creative nook available to students who visit the drop-in center, as well as our podcast studio and storytelling programming on the residential side, students are given multiple ways to express their creativity in unique and meaningful ways!