CLEVELAND - We have the ability to be each other’s catalysis for growth.
That's the message of a mural created and hung this week on the wall of Independence Place at the YWCA Greater Cleveland.
Students in the Artists in Residence program at Saint Ignatius High School designed and painted the mural with the input of Independence Place residents.
The creation of the mural is a result of a previous episode of WKYC’s new series Rising, which focused on a woman who struggled through the process of aging out of foster care but learned how to turn her weakness into her strength by helping other foster care youth.
Over 80 percent of current Independence Place residents have been in foster care; 100 percent have been homeless.
“The fact that the largest segment of the homeless youth population both nationally and locally are young people with foster care histories indicates something is terribly wrong,” said YWCA President and CEO Margaret Mitchell.
Located on Prospect Avenue near E. 40th St, Independence Place is the YWCA’s attempt to address the need for housing and supportive services of homeless youth.
The facility features 22 efficiency apartments for 18-24 year-olds coming from homelessness.
According to the YWCA’s five-year review of the program, 85 percent of residents who have left Independence Place have positively transitioned into stable housing.
The 'Rising' mural features the hand of a current Independence Place resident to symbolize the strength needed to continue to reach dreams and goals.
Volunteers who participated in WKYC’s Make A Difference Day 2016 provided the inspirational quotes covering the mural’s canvas.
"I hope that my peers in this building will be able to walk pass this and look at the different words and different quotes and take heed to it and use it in their everyday life," said Independence Place resident Artima Davis.
The mural is designed to encourage Artima and her IP neighbors to continue to rise above life's obstacles.