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Students paint serene scene for homeless pregnant women

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Six students involved in women’s health interest groups painted a mural for a Tallahassee women’s pregnancy shelter in March, to help provide calm for those in the midst of a major life transition.

Second-year College of Medicine students Danielle Guinan and Ashley Morton came up with the idea as a demonstration of gratitude for the Brehon House.

“Brehon houses, for free, women who are pregnant, who have nowhere to live, who could be temporarily homeless, and who could possibly be in an abusive relationship or undergoing financial troubles,” said Guinan, former OB-GYN Interest Group president. “They’re allowed to stay at Brehon House for the duration of their pregnancy or until they get back on their feet.”

Morton, former American Medical Women’s Association chapter president and OB-GYN vice president, designed the scene.

“Ashley and I came up with this idea that we could do a mural for them,” Guinan said, “and it could be something that the med students could give to this great community resource as a thank-you and to show our support for what they’re doing.”

The students wanted Brehon residents to gain a sense of peace from the mural.

“There’s a woman in it to the right, and she’s kind of gazing out over the water,” said Guinan. “She could be anybody. She’s not a certain skin color. You can’t see her face. You can kind of see yourself as her in the picture and kind of be transported temporarily to this very serene, tranquil picture. We’re hoping that the women will be able to use it like that and just enjoy it when they walk by.”

Residents responded to the painting with comments such as: “It’s so peaceful,” “I love the colors,” “You can just sit and relax and look at it,” “I can’t believe they did it in a couple of days!” and “Wow, it’s beautiful.”

Brehon House Coordinator Shirley O’Rear was grateful to each student who helped: Heather Cross, Simon Lopez, Martine Sainvilus, Katherine Somodi, Guinan and Morton.

“I just love it – that it was created from the students wanting to create something meaningful for the residents,” said O’Rear. “We appreciate every one of them.”

Associate Professor Joedrecka Brown currently serves on the board at Brehon House.

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