Muralist Eric B. Ricks stands with Cathy Guerra (left) and Danielle Woodhouse Johnson of the Oasis Alliance in the new ALIVE! Food Hub, 510F S. Van Dorn St.
Thursday morning, ALIVE! will cut the ribbon on a West End Food Hub that will provide, in addition to food, access to private and public support services in one place.
Putting service navigators on site and making room for conferences and private meetings, as well as an area for children to play, “may provide just the boost they need to start up the path toward self-sustainability,” according to ALIVE!
Hours of the food hub will be Tuesday through Thursday from noon – 6:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. weekly.
Nestled in the corner of the Van Dorn Shopping Center at 510F S. Van Dorn St., the food hub welcomes residents with a variety of colorful murals and a small grocery store where residents can choose what they need. The back of the center has office space, room for meetings and a play area.
The space was designed by Oasis Alliance, a nonprofit organization that creates spaces designed for healing. While the organization typically focuses on interior design for residential spaces, such as the Friends of Guest House, Oasis Alliance took on this commercial project, as it aligned with their mission of lifting people up.
The Oasis Alliance also, in part, connected ALIVE! to the muralists who painted the interior of the space.
The largest mural, on the left when you walk in, was by Eric B. Ricks, one of the nation’s premiere mural artists. The ALIVE! mural features a baby jay bird — an animal that grows up to be a tough bird that fiercely protects its young. The mural also features a butterfly, which symbolizes the importance of making the most of our short time alive.
The other two murals, were created by Benay L. Walker, who worked the word “alive” in Arabic into a heart motif. Another mural, by Eddie Harris, is an origami design inspired by the bond between a parent and child.
Some funding for the mural project was provided by the West End Business Association.