Expressive Arts Framework

At the core of DrawBridge’s effectiveness are the expressive art programs we provide for children. Research has shown that the arts help youth to express themselves, build confidence, and engage with family and community. Through drawing, painting, sculpture, collage and other modalities, trained DrawBridge facilitators encourage young artists to explore creativity that is essential for healthy development.

Underlying Principles

The core premise of DrawBridge art groups is to provide a safe and supportive environment for each child to express themselves and explore the creative process. Our approach allows children to establish their own direction, pace of creation, and depth of self-exploration.

DrawBridge offers children the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity in a non-judgmental environment, adapting to each child’s needs and supporting the child’s unique creative experience.

If you are interested in working with a DrawBridge art group, visit our volunteer page to learn more.


DrawBridge partners with homeless and domestic violence shelters, transitional and affordable housing facilities, and neighborhood community centers to bring expressive art programs to children right where they live. Our staff and facilitators collaborate with each site about the art groups and well-being of each participant. It is always free for families to participate in a DrawBridge art group.

DrawBridge arts programming is presented at these partner sites:

San Francisco County
1180 Fourth Street (Supportive housing)
280 Beale Street Apartments (Affordable housing)
626 Mission Bay  (Supportive housing)
Bayview Hills Garden (Apartments for formerly homeless people)
Clara House (Transitional housing)
Columbia Park (Long-term, affordable housing)
Dream Program
Hamilton Family Emergency Center (Emergency housing)
Jones Street Apartments (Long-term, affordable housing)
St. Joseph Family Center (Transitional housing)
Marin County
Canal – Seasons of Peace (Community Center)
Center for Domestic Peace (Safe House)
Family Resource Center/Homeward Bound (Transitional housing)
OMA Village (Affordable Housing)
Alameda County
East Oakland Community Project (Transitional housing)
Harrison House (Family shelter; interim housing)
Sonoma County
COTS Kids First Family Shelter (Emergency housing)
COTS Vida Nueva (Affordable housing)
San Mateo County
Family Crossroads (LifeMoves)
Haven Family House (LifeMoves)
School House (Long-term, affordable housing)
Santa Clara County
Kings Crossing (Apartments for formerly homeless families)
Santa Cruz
Neary Lagoon (Transitional housing)
Sycamore Housing (Transitional housing)