Smiths Falls – The TR Leger Smiths Falls Campus hosted the Doorway to Hope Exhibit Tuesday afternoon to raise awareness about youth homelessness.
The project encouraged TR students to produce works of art from old doors. The works featured information about the crisis, students’ personal reflections on it, and messages of hope to those facing it. Ten pieces of art were displayed in the entrance-way of the campus.
TR Leger Art Teacher Amy Doxey said doors were chosen for the project to represent transition to a better life. One side of each door demonstrated the problems of youth homelessness, while the other offered positive messages to those attempting to rise from it.
“What a great symbol the door is,” said Doxey, who organized the project. “It’s a kind of passage – a way to find entry into all the community supports that exist to battle youth homelessness.”
The painted doors bore original poetry about youth homelessness, reflections on how problems at home and school can drive youth into homelessness, warnings that one youth on the streets is too many, and good counsel such as “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times.”
The project extended beyond art. Doxey encouraged her students to learn about homelessness through in-class discussions, study of Habitat for Humanity materials, visits from the Cornerstone Landing Youth Services, as well as newspaper articles.
“I’m hoping [the doors] will bring awareness to the situation so the government and others take it more seriously and do something about it,” said TR Leger student Rick Walton, who designed one of the doors.
The exhibit was made possible through the support of Cornerstone Landing Youth Services, as well as the local branch of Habitat for Humanity, which donated doors for the project. Doxey hopes the exhibit can travel and be displayed in other areas in the community.