is about connecting homeless creatives to each other and to the world. We showcase daily M-F photos, artwork and/or poetry on the website, social media and in our daily email. We also have gallery shows about twice a year. About once a month, we interview and honor those who serve homeless creatives (“Spotlight Saturday”). Some statistics claim that over 90 percent of us are only 2 paychecks away from being homeless. We believe there is no “us” and “them;” only “us.” Connection keeps us strong.
This blog began on November 11, 2014 on my personal blog, Niki Flow after a conversation on Twitter with author Laurence O’Brien. It Begins with Me O’Brien shared an article by Christopher Taylor called “Social Cleansing of the Homeless.” This term “Social cleansing” was an unfamiliar one, and the article was horrifying. When I responded his tweet, O’Brien invited me to do something about it. I’m an agoraphobic with panic disorder.* The irony of my situation was not lost on me, but I wanted to help. I was homeless for a short time. After two days, the pain levels from living and sleeping outside were ridiculous — and I was a teenager at the time. So this has always been something close to my heart. Some of my friends in cities around the country agreed to accept the artist packs my family and I put together to distribute in their area. Each pack includes a disposable camera, a warm scarf (for winter; baseball cap in summer) waterproof notebook, pens, lip balm, gum and a waterproof carry pouch.
*A panic attack is basically like being throwing into a dark sack and beaten with a baseball bat by an invisible ninja.
From my own trauma and hardship, I learned that our connection to each other is critical to healing our lives and to finding a way back. I believe creativity is where we meet the best, most unfiltered parts of ourselves which we rarely show the world in our daily lives. When we play and create together, we connect deeply and really *see* each other. That was my dream. What grew from that has been connection to some of the most beautiful people I have ever met.
There are all sorts of ways you can help our work.
☼ Spread the Word!
Share our gems on your blog, through social media, any way you like. The more people who know about Gems, the more heart-connections we make.
☼ Contribute Photos / Artwork / Inspiring Quotes
I would love to feature your artwork or photos. Your creations will be displayed with your copyright info on this site as well as through our email list and social media. “Contribute” means that you always retain full rights to your creative work, but you allow us to use your work in Gallery shows to generate interest and donations. If you’re interested, please send us a note (contact info below). We’ll add title, copyright info, and your website if you have one.
☼ Time Donations
If you would like to be one of our under1000skies co-creators, please contact us for more information. Any kind of creation you’d like to share is very appreciated! Special thanks to our current under1000skies co-creators:
- Ben Archer* – Contributing artist, volunteer coordinator, DE/NJ/PA
- Nicole Huguenin – Honolulu, HA; San Francisco, CA
- Niki Flow – Artist, writer, talent scout, website, social media
- John Olander – Contributing poet, visionary and supportive friend
- Paul Schmitz – Shower UP, Nashville, TN
- Dr. Bell, Sheltering Grace, Atlanta, GA
- KindSpring.org Tribe – supportive friends, contributors of inspiring quotes, beautiful photos and poetry
- ServiceSpace.org Tribe – mentors, teachers, inspirations
- Needed: Central US
- Needed: Southern US
- Needed: Europe
- Needed: Everywhere
☼ Time Donations: Tech
We are trying to get our website going with a volunteer forum, contact form, and individual artist gallery pages. If you know a lot about website building and would like to donate time/advice, please send as an email (contact info below).
If you have any questions or need more information about contributions, donations or becoming a volunteer, please write to us!
Social Media Links:
Thanks so much for stopping by!
It is no accident you are here. We are all connected.
♥. Niki Flow