2014 Mural Contest Second-Place Winner: New Beginnings at Your House South

Your House South's mural.

Congratulations to Star Vista's Your House South, in Redwood City, CA, whose youth artists took second place in the 2014 Family & Youth Services Bureau Mural Contest for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs.

For the fourth year, runaway and homeless youth programs funded by FYSB were given the chance to win the materials to paint a mural in their facilities. A jury of FYSB staff and formerly homeless young people picked the winner and two finalists.

Your House South's artwork and essay are shared below. You can see all the artwork entries in our 2014 Mural Contest slideshow.

Your House South is a small, cozy yellow house in a residential neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. We aspire to reduce homelessness and reunify families by providing emergency shelter and intensive case management, as well as individual, family and group counseling for youth in crisis. We are an extraordinary team, inspired daily by the diversity and intensity of our clientele.

Your House South has daily psychoeducational groups. We dedicated one of these groups to brainstorming and drawing mural ideas. Although some of the youth proposed more than one design, we narrowed our options down to the six in the photograph because each contained an element we wanted to highlight.

Once the initial design ideas were agreed upon, we then brainstormed how we could combine all the themes into one final work that would inspire future Your House South clients. Our idea is to use the “New Beginnings at Your House South” design with the house as the main image (center bottom image in the photograph). The house would be set in the neighborhood of the San Francisco Bay Area with the image of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

The “Family, Loyalty, and Respect,” “Believe in Yourself,” “Your Life Your Choice,” and “Stay Strong” themes will be painted within the house, as these are common themes unearthed in Your House South family, group and individual therapy sessions. The “Dream Big” and “Inspiration” themes will be incorporated into the sky over the house. Finally, the sun to the right of the Golden Gate Bridge is encircled with people holding hands, representing how we are all in this together and can make the world a better place by strengthening connections and supporting one another.

We believe nothing describes our mural better than the words of the young woman who designed the main panel: “In my mural there is a house, and it has a giant heart swirling with different colors, and those colors are flowing out the chimney. The heart in the house represents all the love and hard work that is coming through the house, and the colored swirls coming out of the heart represent all of the different people and personalities that are flowing through it!"

View all the entries in this year's mural contest.

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