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Friday, July 7, 2000

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Nine year old twins, Jacob and James (left to right) and their
sister, Noholani, 7. show off artwork they created. Their artwork,
along with that of other Institute for Human Services guests, is
on display at the Women's and Families' Shelter as part of the
shelter's 22nd birthday celebration. Jacob's is titled "A Wonderful
Day at the Beach" while James' is "Home." Noholani's painting
shows "my dad," the "laughing nice man (who) listens to
children who play on grass while wind blows
white clouds under the orange star."

What home means
to the homeless

By Brett Alexander-Estes


They share sleeping quarters with strangers in warehouse-sized rooms. But today some of the people at a Honolulu homeless shelter are also sharing their dreams.

"What Home Means To Me," an exhibit of pastel drawings by residents and volunteers at the Women's and Families' Shelter operated by the Institute for Human Services, was to open today at the shelter as part of IHS' 22nd birthday celebration.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Chandalynn, one of the children at IHS, gives Catherine Graham
a hug as she holds some of the IHS children's artwork. Graham
is public relations and volunteer services manager for IHS; three
of Chandalynn's siblings are the artists in the photograph at top.

The exhibit project, a joint effort by IHS and three other agencies, brought volunteers into the shelter to teach the adults and children there how to express themselves with oil-based pastels.

Shelter residents were also encouraged to write about their feelings.

The result is 30-50 visions of what homeless people hold dear.

"Grandma is sitting on the porch, safe, crocheting in the shade" -- so writes Julie, an adult artist, of a bent female figure set against yellow brush strokes.

"The intent of the project was to engage our guests in an activity that would take them outside of themselves and their everyday problems," said Catherine Graham, IHS public relations and volunteer services manager.

"It's almost therapeutic," said Lynn Maunakea, executive director of IHS.

Seven-year-old Noholani has been living at the shelter for more than a month with her parents and four siblings. Her drawing was dominated by a smiling blue figure: "My dad," Noholani said.

James, Noholani's father, held up his own painting of figures under a mountain. "My roots," he said, then added: "I was born and raised here but there's nothing here for me."

The exhibit, which will run indefinitely at the IHS Kaaahi Street family shelter, is a project of the IHS, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, the Pilot International Club, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

The Pilot International Club, a volunteer community group, has selected IHS as the recipient of a $10,000 Weinberg Friends Award.

The IHS 22nd birthday celebration was to be held today at the IHS Kaaahi Street family facility.

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