Project PLASE works to end homelessness in Baltimore by providing transitional housing, permanent housing and supportive services to homeless adults. Since 1974 Project PLASE has provided both direct services and advocacy on behalf of this population. They serve the most vulnerable and underserved, including persons with mental illness, HIV/AIDS, addiction, developmental disabilities, as well as former offenders and ex-offenders. They empower each individual to restore their health, stability, security and a sense of self-worth, and most importantly leave homelessness and the street behind. Project PLASE residents build the skills and mental strength necessary to effect change in their lives, with PLASE’s active guidance. Today, Project PLASE serves nearly 500 of Baltimore’s homeless men and women per year in its transitional and permanent housing facilities.
In a conversation with Project PLASE’s Executive Director, Mary Slicher, we asked how the artwork has been received by the clients Project PLASE serves and how it has impacted the agency. She comments:
“Project PLASE, Inc. has benefited greatly from working with The Art Connection in the Capital Region. ACCR really took the time to get to know us, understand our population and match our needs. Our clients were able to get involved in selecting the artwork, meet the artists and are now living daily with the art pieces. The installation has increased the sense of ownership and pride that the clients have about their living space and its reflection on their journey and progress to a safe and stable future. It is about as complete a service as one could want!
I am so grateful for the generosity and kindnesses of the local artists. Their work graces our walls! Their paintings and sculptures add beauty and inspiration to our every day. We value the art as well as the creative process and this new association. We were able to meet talented persons who live and create right around the corner. Access to the art as well as knowing these generous persons would not have happened without The Art Connection! These relationships are valued because of the community ties merged. This link helps us see that life itself is creativity--in both your art and in our residents’ life’s work--and the correlation between them. This art work helps our residents know their value to others, as part of this community. This is perceived within the art. Their and your creativity are the same, at many levels- as each one touches their soul and makes it visible.
John Ruskin said, "what distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.”
These artists have all three. And with these, serve us all at PLASE! We Thank YOU continually!
Image Top: Artist Albert Schweitzer with his artowrk / Image Bottom: Cindy Birdsill, Holly Screen