Community Project Gives Hope at Faith Mission
In mid-June, Faith Mission partnered with Harmony Project and the Kind Columbus initiative to create a mural that would bring hope to the people served by the homeless shelter Downtown.
The “hope” mural, designed by artist Jeremy Jarvis, is similar in design to a “dream” mural located on Livingston Avenue. For this mural, Faith Mission already had a word in mind to bring joy and hope to people experiencing some of the most trying days of their lives.
Sue Villilo, Assistant Vice President of Community-Based Services at Faith Mission, said the mural was simply an opportunity made to the organization that they couldn’t pass up.
“This was just such a great option that we would have never thought of had somebody not brought it to us, that for us it was an immediate yes,” she said. “We were super excited right from the minute we heard about it.”
Like the dream mural, Jarvis designed the hope mural with a series of offset lines and stripes in such a way that volunteers could pitch in. Viewers may not immediately see what it says, which was intentional, said Jarvis.
“You could tell it says something. So then you take a second look at it and there it comes. I think that’s kind of a good … analogy for maybe not seeing hope in your life right at the front of your face,” he said. “But just looking a little harder and then seeing it and maybe working a little harder to get it to manifest in your life.”
While the mural was being painted, Villilo had the opportunity to talk to some of the people using Faith Mission’s services about hope, what it meant to them and how they defined it.
“A lot of people are taking selfies or pictures of each other out in front of the mural. It is a spark of happiness or joy or hope in what can be a pretty bleak period in someone’s life,” said Villilo.
And during the installation of the mural, volunteers from different organizations, news stations and individuals took part in helping in Faith Mission’s kitchen, donation space and helped plant flowers throughout the entire day.
It was truly an act of coming together, said Jarvis. But for those who come across the mural in passing, he hopes it can be the spark that gets people through their day. “I see this mural as almost like a smile from another person. And that wall out there smiling to them,” said Jarvis.
Villilo hopes its message will lessen stereotyping around homelessness and people experiencing poverty.
“People are working hard to end this situation, that no matter what brought someone to Faith Mission, they have hope of leaving in a better place, to a better place in a better way,” she said. “And I hope that others, besides those of us who are here looking at it, realize that that’s the core of what happens here.”
As far as other community projects, Faith Mission is open to more opportunities, and hopes the mural inspires other organizations to have murals on their buildings as well.
“We would love to see more like this around Columbus. so anything we can do to spread the hope, to spread the love around, we would be all for it,” said Villilo.
Faith Mission relies heavily on volunteers for its programs and services to operate. For more information on getting involved, visit