In celebration of our 50th anniversary, each month we will be sharing a story that highlights one of our programs or treatment populations. Below is Kenneth’s story, who found creating art helped keep him focused on his recovery.
Art has been a part of Kenneth’s life for more than 40 years. Growing up, the comfort of creation helped distract Kenneth, 55, from the stresses of growing up in the projects with a single mom raising him and his siblings. As Kenneth reached his teenage years, art gave way to drugs and alcohol as a means of escape. For the next twenty-five years, Kenneth struggled with his addiction to cocaine and alcohol and found himself in and out of treatment programs.
A few years ago, Kenneth became homeless after he lost his job, and he had no money to pay his rent. Feeling hopeless about his future, Kenneth isolated himself. He relapsed, and knowing he needed to make a change, he entered residential treatment at Odyssey House.
In treatment, Kenneth found sanctuary by participating in workshops at the Odyssey House expressive arts studio. Kenneth says creating art allows him to express himself in ways he cannot verbally, and supports his recovery in a safe and sober environment. “The Odyssey House Art Project helped me find myself. I can find joy in life again.” This July, Kenneth celebrated one year of sobriety, giving him a more hopeful outlook on his life: “Now that I’ve reached this milestone, it’s going to be a brighter future for me.”
For more than a decade, our expressive arts studio has been a therapeutic oasis for clients of our residential treatment and housing programs, enabling them to find new ways to exercise their creativity and communicate their feelings. Art helps clients to open up, which also opens doors to improved treatment and healing.