Messages from the street


Messages from the street


Life sleeping rough on the street is desperate and stressful. Many who experience homelessness feel ignored, unseen, and rejected by the community around them.

Fun and creative outlets, so often taken for granted by others, and so vital for our sense of wellbeing, are sadly out of reach for people sleeping rough.

This is the main reason why Webber Street started up an Art Club for our guests. After breakfast and the morning’s activities, they host an art club every Wednesday where guests can have the opportunity to be creative and productive.


“We wanted to provide a way for our guests to express themselves creatively while doing something that’s fun, but can open up deeper conversations” explains Jennifer Garibay, LCM Missionary at Webber Street.

“It’s an opportunity for them to feel comfortable sharing their stories while pointing them to Jesus.”

There is usually a short talk from the Bible and the guests begin creating art based on the passage.

“A few months ago, we read from Psalm 139 that starts with “O Lord you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.”

“We then gave people the space to share their stories, encouraging people at the art club to create a culture of positive feedback. We wanted them to feel supported without judgement. Our guests get enough of that from the world outside our day centre,” says Jennifer.


This is where the work of London-based artist, Andy Leek, played a key role. After struggling with mental health, Andy began making notes to stick on subways and street corners – positive messages of encouragement and hope on colourful stickers for strangers to read. It was just the inspiration the Webber Street art club needed.

“Following Andy Leek’s lead, we provided brightly coloured paper for our guests to write messages to strangers,” says Jennifer.

“We asked them to write five sentences encapsulating their experience of homelessness; to write what they would like people to know about them.

“The guests then shared their sentences with the group. Listening to the supportive feedback was not only good for connecting and building relationships, but it also provided a real self-esteem boost.”

Out of the five sentences, the guests chose the most impactful one, wrote that down and shared it on social media. The courage and honesty of the messages, as well as their messengers, were powerful.


For Jennifer, the art session was a way to share God’s love.

“Not only did we want to give our guests an opportunity to communicate their story, but to also share there is a God who sees them, knows them intimately, and loves them,” says Jennifer.

“It was a privilege to see how different people felt about their experience and gave me a better insight into how they felt.

“One person originally wrote about feeling hopeless. But after we shared the message from Psalm 139, they changed their artwork. They wrote ‘The good Lord will guide me’ instead.”

“There have been some amazing art sessions at Webber Street day centre since. And we are grateful we can give people experiencing homelessness the opportunity to share their hearts and stories in ways that are safe and healthy.”

To find out more about the day-to-day activities at Webber Street, follow @webberstreet on Instagram and Facebook. You can also visit