Heather Stoltz, a fiber artist, is creating an installation piece to be called "Temporary Shelter." Once assembled, the work will, Stoltz says, be "reminiscent of a sukkah, a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot." She adds: "Unlike a traditional sukkah, however, the panels that make up the interior walls of Temporary Shelter will tell the stories of several of New York’s homeless."
A look at the children's art she has collected so far reveals a range of feelings among the artists.
This work is by Jenci, age 13. Stoltz writes: "Jenci was very angry when he first arrived at the shelter. He chose the black and yellow patterned fabric to represent this anger. But, as he started participating in the recreation program and met friends and helpful teachers, that anger turned into hope and happiness. When I asked him how he felt living in the shelter, he told me 'It is kind of sad because many people might make fun of it but I don’t worry about (it) and I keep living the life to succeed.' The jumping frogs represent his 'leaping to success' and the hearts and flowers are for his mother who he loves dearly and who helps him through these tough times."
The New York City homeless shelter system was home to 15,166 children on Monday, March 14, the most recent day for which statistics are available.