Lauren Dobbins started volunteering with the Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) in 2016. Through a fellow volunteer who was helping with SPARK, Dobbins found the opportunity she had been searching for — using art as a therapeutic method for those in need. Since joining the HHI team, Dobbins has developed many programs with both mothers and children living at PEC.

Photo of a painting Photo of art courtesy of Leah Rothenberg Every Friday morning, Dobbins guides the moms in an art project, including drawing and painting. One of Dobbins’ greatest accomplishments is having some of the residents return to the Mom’s Art program after leaving the shelter, just because they enjoy the sessions so much. The success of Mom’s Art has manifested into a beautiful, new art space at PEC for mothers to work and display their work.

In addition to working with the moms each week, Dobbins also developed Children’s Art as part of the PEC after-school program. The children’s interest in expressing themselves through art is satisfied in Children’s Art every Thursday. The children will soon be working on a mural in the entrance of PEC, with Dobbins’ help.

Dobbins hopes to see the mothers bring their art outside the walls of PEC. Whether it is selling their work online or displaying their art within the community, it is important to her that the world recognizes the talent of the mothers at PEC.

Dobbins says, “The program not only benefits the moms at PEC, but also inspires the PEC staff and me!” She’s grateful to be part of the relationship between HHI and PEC.