“It takes my mind off things, off my stress.”

Mari, age 10

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From Site Coordinators

“We see DrawBridge as a crucial part of the kids’ recovery. Thank you for all that you give!”

MAYA, SITE COORDINATOR


“So glad we can keep working together. We LOVE having Draw Bridge here!!”

JANE S., CLARA HOUSE

“DrawBridge provides many options for our children and helps them expand their artistic abilities. The facilitators and volunteers have made themselves part of our community here and that has 100 percent to do with how much our children love their time with them.”

RICKEY R., AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM COORDINATOR, COMPASS CLARA HOUSE

“DrawBridge is much appreciated! Thank you!”

KESLEY F., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, D*** HOUSE II

“The children in your group came to my office after to show off the impressive art projects they work on. They are so proud they won’t let me exhibit them in my office. They insist on keeping everything and decorating their walls with the work. I was genuinely impressed with the clever and artistic ways that mediums are used.”

JONATHAN B., BA-RAS, SALVATION ARMY HARBOR HOUSE RE-ENTRY PROGRAM, SAN FRANCISCO

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From Art Group Facilitators

“The weekly art groups provide a safe space for the children to have the freedom and support to experiment and express themselves. I feel so lucky to be able to connect with the children and offer an hour of creativity, exploration, and fun!”

JENNIFER

“Since we moved our DB sessions into [a more familiar] space where the children already feel safe there has been a dramatic shift in the amount of art created and the type of art made. It warms my heart to see and hear the children so comfortable in this new environment.”

SARAH

“Katie” started coming to our weekly DrawBridge art group at the age of 5. Her gaze was downcast and she never smiled. After just a few art sessions, I could see a glimmer of light in her eyes. After a few more weeks, her mother told me that “Katie” was waking up excitedly every single morning and asking, ‘Is today art day?’ It’s been 6 years now, and “Katie” still comes and jumps into my arms every week, looking forward to this special time to express herself through art.”

KATHLEEN

“The work I do at D*** House is really important to me. Although sometimes challenging, all the kids are wonderful to work with and I feel they truly benefit from the creative expression and consistency I try to provide. I am thankful for the chance to be a part of D*** House and also DrawBridge.”

EMILY

“They’re really lovely. I get screaming enthusiastic giant bear hugs when they first see me and when I leave. T***, who is 8, said she wished we could stay all night and keep making art like a manic slumber party.”

CLAUDIA

“Our community has noticed us, as a local middle-class 12-year-old boy used his birthday money to buy art supplies for our group, donating them anonymously with his mother. This was very touching, as many of the moments at DrawBridge have been.”

Mc

“We had a new 7-year-old girl. She was the first to arrive. She looked terrified. I guessed that her discomfort had to do with being in a new and temporary living situation. Throughout most of the art group her eyes were red and rimmed with tears. Despite this, she bravely verbalized what art materials she would like to use, and soon settled in and began working quietly alongside the other children. By the end she was looking in the mirror at herself wearing her new hat and she was beaming with happiness.
She was no longer teary eyed.”

SUSAN

“This is my 11th year working with Drawbridge! The weekly art groups provide a safe space for the children to experience quality art supplies, and the freedom and support to experiment and express themselves. As a facilitator at two sites, I feel so lucky to be able to connect with the children and offer an hour of creativity, exploration, and fun!”

Jennifer

“The children’s director told me that she and the teachers have noticed the children are calmer and better behaved after our art groups. Usually the children are quite well-behaved and lovely. This past fall we had two really challenging children. It was very satisfying to see how, over the months, the disruptive behaviors lessened, and the room became calmer and calmer. We had nights where we had 15 minutes of total quiet, just focused art-making.”

SUSAN

“As much as this DrawBridge art group allowed for fun and creative exploration, it also allowed hope; the space to feel,  just to be. To be heard and seen.”

RACHEL

“’Eric’ is the sweetest 8-year-old boy who comes every week to make art. At the end of the hour he helped me put everything away (this is his usual helpful self). He came back and sat at the table and I sat next to him, I told him I was here to make art, but also to listen and talk, or just sit with him. He got out of his chair and hugged me in silence for a few minutes; he kept on hugging. After he let go, he smiled and left the room. He came back in, asking the children’s activities coordinator if he was deserving of any prizes. He was; he picked his box of crayons, turned around and gave them to me. After I left the shelter, I cried for an hour thinking of his generosity and inner-beauty. It was the sweetest moment of my Drawbridge experience.”

Sarah

“I was on the 38 Geary bus yesterday when a young African American man sitting across from me asked if I used to do art with kids at the Jones St. Apts. Then I recognized him. Carl used to come to the group when he was 11 and lived in the building. He’s now 24, still lives in SF, and says he works with disabled people. He also has a six-year-old son and said, “He out-smarts me already.” Carl talked about the great work DrawBridge is doing with kids. He said that he hopes his son can have the experience of doing art. I was really touched when he said, “Imagine all these years later and I recognized you and remembered the art group.”

Debra

“[A] transformative experience with art doesn’t happen every week, but in a lot of DrawBridge art groups I get to see the difference an art experience can have in a child’s life.”

SUSAN

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From a Former DrawBridge Kid

“I grew up in the Tenderloin and I began participating with DrawBridge when I was 7-years old through the Boys and Girls Club. When I was 12 Debra (facilitator) offered me a position to become a teen assistant. I volunteered with DrawBridge for 6 years until I started college. What I enjoyed the most about DrawBridge is that it allowed kids … to have the opportunity to experience the happiness of art and how it can be an escape from the burdens they may have on a daily basis.
Being a teen assistant for DrawBridge helped me realize that working with kids was something that I wanted to do as a career…to find my place where I belong.”

Winnie

Inspiring Joy, Self-Confidence & Hope