Prologue: LOVE IS A WORK OF ART
A life transformed is indeed a work of art. Heading Home’s work of alleviating suffering in our community is a labor of love. The result is oftentimes a masterpiece. When the raw material of hopelessness, trauma, unmanaged behavioral health and life on the street encounters shelter, stability, supportive services and ongoing human interaction, something special happens. The opportunity for a life lived with dignity and purpose emerges on the canvas of our community.
Heading Home’s artistic approach is collaborative. Each contribution to our mission is a brush stroke in so many unfinished masterpieces throughout our city. Please join us in this ongoing artistic endeavor. Your brush stroke may be the finishing touch on a life transformed.
The AOC team painted the perfect picture of love Saturday evening, November 4th! They are truly masters of their art.
Staff greeted the volunteers and helped get the essentials and transform the community room into the night’s art studio. They then jumped in to unload a truck full of the evening’s art supplies, drinks and dry goods.
The AOC artists for the evening, Eric and Mary arrived and helped with the composition of the space and directed the brush strokes. The volunteers setup the palette to hold and serve the culinary works of art.
The Hyatt Master Chef, the Events and Banquet Manager and half dozen of the kitchen staff actually came to the loading docks to personally see their creations leave to create a memory for 109 men, staff and volunteers that they didn’t know. They wanted their art to be shared with the men at the AOC who would not be attending the elaborate dinner of the patrons, sponsors and donors who helped make the evening a reality by giving to the mission of Heading Home. The Hyatt staff prepared and sent an extra 40 meals so no one would be left out.
Eric greeted everyone at the door to the community room making sure everyone at the AOC would be served. The first wave of inspiration came from the men in Respite Care when they came through the studio painting their own plates with amber and ochers of dinner rolls, the green shades of salad, the earthy tones of steak, vibrant oranges and yellows of fresh veggies all topped with highlights of the whites, chocolates and lemon of the desserts. Volunteers carefully brushed on the food and assisted those who could not hold their plate and still move through the line with their walker.
Mary and the volunteers smiled and greeted each resident as they move through the serving line. As one volunteer put it, “Food always tastes better with a smile.” Noah, another volunteer, captured the images to be shared with their patrons at the Hyatt.
The bus arrives and the second group joins the serving line. Additional meals were boxed for late arrivals. Men who spend their day wondering where the next meal will come from enjoyed a salad, steak entrée, dessert with real silverware and cloth napkins. They were invited to have second servings of whatever they chose. They ate until they were full. The remaining desserts and leftovers decorated the table for late night snacks for anyone trickling in.
The AOC campus filled with residents sitting on the deck eating and conversing with each other as the sun set on a mild fall evening made a perfect art gallery. The evening was a colorful collage of people taking a break from experiencing homelessness.
To put on a finishing touch, a couple of the AOC guests quietly insisted on helping clean up and load the empty containers for the return trip to the Hyatt.
Thank you to Suzanna Finley, our Communications Manager, for the inspiration of the Hacienda Ball’s AOC dinner, the donors, the Hyatt and especially Eric, Mary and all of the AOC staff and volunteers Noah, Linde and Janis.