St. Francis House believes that the creative process can foster self-awareness, personal growth, and autonomy. Our Margaret Stewart Lindsay Art Studio is a warm, welcoming place where guests can work with a wide variety of media and begin to see themselves in new and beautiful ways as they transition back into mainstream society.



Expressive Therapy is one of our most popular therapy programs, serving an average of 12 people a day, five days a week. The program engages guests in a group process that encourages interaction, trust, communication skills, and working together.

As guests use their imagination and develop technical skills, they often look deep inside themselves and begin to sort out the issues in their lives. Art helps guests become more fully realized, empowered human beings with identities that expand far beyond their experience of homelessness.

Whatever medium a guest prefers, we emphasize the value of self-expression, creative thinking, and problem solving. For some, that means painting or sculpture. Others enjoy mask-making, print-making, jewelry making, or Saori weaving, a form of improvisational loom weaving that originated in Japan.

Saori is an ideal therapeutic art because its “no mistakes” philosophy promotes self-acceptance and provides a sense of artistic freedom and independence, regardless of physical or intellectual ability, age, or artistic aptitude. The weaving is created spontaneously, with no premeditated pattern, any “imperfections” adding to the richness of the art.

Our guests have shown their work in a variety of local venues and shows, including the annual City Heart show and sale. Guest art is also featured in our Art From the Heart note cards.

Contact the Expressive Therapy Program.