Brooklyn rehab offers art therapy as a creative outlet

A Brooklyn centered nonprofit gives one particular-end guidance to 1000’s of New Yorkers who are homeless or in hazard of dwelling on the avenue.

A lot more than 100,000 New Yorkers are homeless.

“I just wished to clearly show the environment that color is beautiful,” reported Victor Alicea who the moment was homeless himself.

Now, his life looks completely unique. Alicea’s environment is produced up of lively hues, from radiant reds to excellent blues.

“I arrive here, and I do art,” explained Alicea. “That would make me really feel fantastic, and it also provides me treatment.”

What You Need To Know

  • The Institute for Local community Living has served extra than 15,000 clients across all systems because it started 35 many years in the past

  • Victoria Alicea claims he was homeless for 3 several years, applying medication and diagnosed schizophrenic before locating ICL, which provides painting courses to its shoppers

  • Much more than 3,000 people snooze below an ICL roof each and every evening

  • According to the Coalition for the Homeless, far more than 65,000 New Yorkers sleep in the city’s shelter method on a provided evening

An artwork studio in Brooklyn is a location of refuge for Alicea, who began coming here 6 decades ago when he did not even have a roof above his head. Alicea was homeless for 3 several years.

“I was out in the streets, and I was homeless, and I was ripping and managing, consuming and drugging,” reported Alicea. “It was genuine undesirable for me at that time.”

Institute for Local community Living, or ICL, in East New York provides a lot more than a creative outlet listed here. It also offers psychological well being remedy and drug rehabilitation.

“Never in the earth did I believe that I was gonna be right here and make it to 60 years outdated,” claimed Alicea.

Alicea is section of ICL’s personalised restoration method where consumers consider component in team therapy, get one particular-on-a single counseling and secure housing. Additional than 3,000 people today snooze below an ICL roof every single night time. Staffers also go by means of the city’s referral system to put men and women in supportive housing.

“Before you leave below, you come to feel like there’s some sort of hope for you. There is some form of way out for you,” stated Alicea.

Social worker Tiana Cintron says artwork presents the foundation for purchasers like Alicea.

“He does artwork, and he’s just in the minute. He feels safe and sound,” explained Cintron. “Jobs like this, they really do not notify you, ‘I enjoy the perform you’re performing, I’m so glad you are my therapist.’ It’s afterwards when they go away, and you see what they achieved.”

In June, Alicea’s paintings were on display screen at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit named “Creating a Lifeline” highlighted artwork by extra than a dozen ICL purchasers.

“Now that I search at what I have completed for the past ten decades, what have I attained in the last 10 years, I am pretty very pleased of myself,” reported Alicea.

Many thanks to ICL, Alicea secured housing at Unique People today Expert services in the Bronx. He’s lived in his two-bedroom unit for a few a long time now and with that stability, Alicea suggests he can target on his job and goals. He hopes to open his very own art gallery a single day.

“I see my profession 10 several years from now getting just one of the most effective artists in New York Town,” said Alicea. “I see myself staying any person who arrived from a pretty bad place to a quite fantastic spot now and I’m gonna proceed on that road and see what my lifetime will provide following this.”

ICL has served more than 15,000 purchasers throughout all programs given that it started 35 decades back. In the very last 12 months, ICL says it helped approximately 350 individuals shift from a homeless shelter to long-lasting housing.