On-air date: 
Mon, 02/28/2011
"Heather's Baby" & "Lucas" - Photos by Cathy ten Broeke

That most invisible segment of our culture is that segment we often ignore. We don’t always see our homeless brothers and sisters, because we don’t want to. Perhaps we don’t want to believe so many of our neighbors are without places to live. Perhaps we feel powerless to do anything about this plague on the richest society in the world.

Young people are among the most harmed by homelessness. Of the 13,000 Minnesotans who experience homelessness every day, 2,000 are young people, 34% of the total in Hennepin County alone*. Many of the adults are veterans, some are the parents of these youth for whom the instability of homelessness is something none of us would want for our own – or ourselves. (* Wilder Research, 2009 Statewide Homelessness Survey)

But, some of these young people have come forward into the limelight of artistic expression – in words and pictures – through the Arts & Civic Engagement Initiative. Their work and the work of their mentors in agencies working to end homelessness is on exhibit through May 14 at the Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis. Among the exhibitors are the great community photographer, Wing Young Huie, Hennepin County Coordinator to End Homelessness Cathy Ten Broeke doubling as artist, work created by youth experiencing homelessness in collaboration with Peter Haakon Thompson, and work from the exhibition Home Is Where You Make It - six temporary sculptures produced by youth experiencing homelessness with Lauri Lyons, Tish Jones, and Megan Madland.

All of this to reach these goals:

• Highlight the plight of youth struggling with homelessness and other loss of shelter in the Twin Cities through the work of Minnesota artists

• Spark dialogue and increase awareness about ongoing programs and legislative work to end youth and child homelessness

• Celebrate the strengths, capacity and contributions of youth

• Deepen the capacity and commitment of the community to address the issues related to youth homelessness

• Build awareness of the power of the arts to create meaning and beauty from hardship and struggle

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with artists and leaders in this project to end youth homelessness. We’ll be streaming the program online and showing some of the art on exhibit even as we explore the issues leading to such a serious level of youth homelessness and what we can all do about ending it.

On-air guests: 

• CATHY ten BROEKE – Photographer, and Coordinator, Heading Home Hennepin program to end homelessness 

• SUSAN PHILLIPS – Director, LSS (Lutheran Social Services) Youth Homeless Services

• REGGIE PRIM – Organizer, Growing Home ExhibitArts & Civic Engagement Initiative and Center for Changing Lives