Methods: This study utilized the Photovoice methodology to better understand the impact of Art & Cultural Exposure programming on individuals experiencing homelessness. Purposive sampling was used to select nine individuals (N=9). All study participants met two criteria: 1. Homelessness or Housing Instability. 2. Participation in the Art & Cultural Exposure Program. To answer the research question, participants took photos which were later contextualized in focus groups. During the focus groups, participants also met to co-construct a policy narrative, and selected ways in which to deliver the message to policy makers. Focus group data were analyzed in NVivo using open coding.
Results: Participants described Art & Cultural Exposure programming as a means to address psychological frailties associated with homelessness. They used art as therapy, and they also used participatory action research (Photovoice) as a means to feeling heard. Some specific benefits included using art as a means to accumulate social capital, using art for peace and serenity, and using art for educational purposes.
Conclusion: Art & Cultural Exposure programming helped program participants experiencing homelessness or housing instability address psychological frailties. Program participants also used participatory action research as a means to feeling heard by agency level policy makers. In terms of implications, this study demonstrates that Art & Cultural Exposure programming is a viable means to using art a practical tool for addressing psychological frailties associated with homelessness. Further research should focus on how social workers, program facilitators, and policy makers to triangulate data through the perspectives of others close to the phenomenon under study.