Silent auction supports Gateway shelter

Shelter clients express creative side through art, which is sold in silent auction to afford art supplies

For the past few months, clients at the Gateway Shelter for Women and Men have been expressing their creative side.

Thanks to a recent contractual art program, shelter clients have been enjoying a wide variety of creative activities.

Alison Houweling, case manager for WorkBC/Gateway Support Services for Women and Men, said clients enjoyed being able to express themselves through art, while at the same time having a much-needed reprieve from the streets and the continual hardships of being homeless.

“For many clients it was a chance to create something that they could feel proud of and later take to their new homes with them,” she said. “We did a lot of paper crafting such as making cards and collages using decoupage as well as stickers, painting, wood art and jewelry making.”

Because funding for the shelter is tight, its main focus is on providing necessities such as food and shelter, which means art supplies are a luxury that the shelter can’t afford to provide on a regular basis.

To raise funds for art supplies to continue providing this outlet for clients, the John Howard Society of the North Okanagan/Kootenay Region, which operates the shelter, has come up with the idea for a silent auction of pieces made by clients and staff.

Thanks to the donation of space by the Cracked Pot, the silent auction begins Monday and runs to April 28, with items on display in the back of the shop, in the Java Den.

All proceeds from the auction will go towards the purchase of art supplies.

Up for bid will be cards, picture frames, soaps, jewelry, a mask, a paper crafted skull, a painting and plenty of whimsical paper art.

“Mainly the pictures will be a part of the silent auction, but small items will have a suggested donation price and the purchaser can take them immediately, but the pictures will start at a donation price and hopefully during the week potential buyers will donate higher prices,” said Houweling.

“The Gateway Shelter for Women and Men would like to thank The Cracked Pot, People Place and all staff and clients that contributed to making this a success.”

The Cracked Pot Coffee Emporium is at 2913-30th Ave. in downtown Vernon.