By Cherri Gregg

PHILAFDELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program dedicated a new, mutli-part project in West Philadelphia this week, shining a spotlight on youth homelessness.

Located near 41st Street and Lancaster Avenue, Journey2Home is the culmination of two years of workshops with youung people experiencing housing insecurity.

It includes a storefront, featuring an audio mural and photo exhibit, as well two colorful outdoor murals (top photo) and a container filled with thousands of folded origami paper cranes to symbolize the 5,000 young people in Philadelphia with no home.

“I came out to my family, and a lot of them weren’t welcoming,” recalls Dominique Brisco (at left in photo below), now 19.  She was homeless at 18.

 

(Dominique Briscoe, left, and a neighbor pose for a snapshot that became part of the "Journey2Home" project's photo exhibition.)

(Dominique Briscoe, left, and a neighbor pose for a snapshot that became part of the “Journey2Home” project’s photo exhibition.)

—–

A year later, thanks to the Attic Youth Center, she has her own apartment and three jobs.

Briscoe says used the project to help other LGBTQ youth and herself to heal.

“It felt like someone paid attention to me, like someone said my story is special,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

“They did photography, they did installations, there’s music,” explains Shari Hersh, a senior project manager who helped guide the participants through the artistic workshops.  “A big part of this project is, ‘We hear you, we see you.’   We’re sharing as a way of lifting it up, because they are incredibly resiliant,” she says.   “The youth were interviewed and then they used those interviews and photos they took as the basis for their artwork.”

More infomration is at www.muralarts.org.