Art from the Streets empowering Austin's homeless, at-risk community

Art from the Streets is back and bigger than before. The upcoming show features art work from Austin's homeless and at-risk community. Each piece is making a difference in more than one way.

"We have everything," said Kelley Worden, the director of Art from the Streets as volunteers sorted artwork.

The work is a labor of love and comes from the heart and the streets.

"At risk homeless artists can come in and paint and create," she said. "It's a therapy piece for many of our artists it gives them quiet space and positive human interaction."

Larry Williams is one of the artists. At 66 he's back on his feet for now. Five years ago he was homeless. A shocking situation he never expected and no one does.

"I lived in my car before I found the ARCH and I wouldn't recommend that for anyone," said Williams.

Then, he found Art from the Streets.

"I just kept coming and coming and eventually in a rapid kind of way it started to change my life seriously it started to change my life," said Williams.

All of Larry's art and what's being sorted will be for sale. The art starts at $20 per piece and goes up from there.

"There's a pay day and we pay the artists and we see that affirmation for financial reason but personal affirmation," said Worden.

"I was totally shocked. I had not put that kind of value to me doing anything positive like that in a long time," said Williams of his first paycheck.

Williams advocates for his fellow artists.

"I'm really glad when they take pieces home. It doesn't matter who the artist is just take something home with you," said Williams.

About half of the artists are homeless and the others are still at-risk like Larry.

"Some of the barriers are depersonalization, transportation, food, shelter all of those kinds of things you don't take them for granted anymore," said Williams. He's forever grateful for the program and knows art helped him in a big way.

The show is December 5th and 6th at the Austin Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a suggested $8 donation at the door which helps to cover program costs and ensures the proceeds from the sale go back to the artists.

Last year the non-profit sold $120,000 in artwork and this year they hope to sell $150,000.

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