In the United States alone, 37.2 million people live below the poverty level, 580,000 individuals are homeless on a typical night, 44 million individuals are at risk of experiencing hunger, and one in six children live in Vanessa Hunter, FA Shelter Manager; Jennifer Lopez, CEO, FA; Noah Burns, student and mural artist from West Chester University; Rob Henry, Administrator, Chester County Partnership to End Homelessness; Niya Watkins, CHOP HHI Social Work Intern, and Karen

In November 2022, during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, CHOP’s Homeless Health Initiative was invited to a mural dedication at the Friends Association (FA) in West Chester. Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual acknowledgment that brings awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness. Educational, service, fundraising and advocacy events across the country stop to focus on this social problem. 

The mural dedication highlighted the work of FA and West Chester citizens who are experiencing homelessness and brought more public art to West Chester.

FA works to prevent homelessness by providing emergency housing, partnering with families toward a goal of stability and promoting systemic change through a variety of programs and services. For its 200th anniversary, FA partnered with Noah Burns, a West Chester University student, to design and paint the mural that now lives on the side of its building at 113 Chestnut St. 

Following the mural dedication, Karen Hudson, PhD, LSW, MSW, Program Leader, Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) and Niya Watkins, HHI social work intern, met with FA Shelter Manager Vanessa Hunter to begin planning for HHI-sponsored regular health education workshops for residents at FA in 2023.