Exciting New Collaboration with People's Pottery Project

by Lee Buchanan October 29, 2021 in Partnerships

Peoples Pottery Project, Would Works, made in Los Angeles, crafts, social enterprise

Just a stone's throw from the Would Works (WW) wood shop our neighbors at the People's Pottery Project (PPP), a non-profit ceramics business empowering formerly incarcerated women, trans and non-binary people, are making exceptionally beautiful ceramics. 

PPP was founded in 2019 by artist and prison activist Molly Larkey, and formerly incarcerated activists Ilka and Domonique Perkins.  Like WW, PPP is a non-profit social enterprise that provides its members with job opportunities in the crafts and access to a healing, creative community.

WW and PPP believe that arts programming is essential for healing trauma and helps recently incarcerated and/or unhoused individuals establish a sense of self, power, and hope. 

would works, woodworking, made in LA, homelessness, cutting boards

While our mission statements address different populations, there is a sizable overlap between people experiencing homelessness and people who have experienced incarceration.  Both groups face similar barriers to employment, housing, and resources. 

Nationally, people who are justice involved are ten times more likely to experience homelessness.

California, and specifically Los Angeles, has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the US. It's no coincidence that California also has the second largest prison populations in the country.  "While homelessness has many root causes, including an overall lack of affordable housing and lack of coordination between social service systems, incarceration is a major risk factor. Even when appropriate housing can be located, stigma and restrictions regarding people with criminal records are another major barrier to accessing both housing and employment.1

These dynamics also have racial implications; Californians of color are overrepresented both in the criminal justice system and among people experiencing homelessness." 2

Would Works and PPP strive to address these inequities by providing paid vocational training, connections to healing community and new creative skills to people who are formerly incarcerated and/or unhoused. 

We are thrilled to expand our community by combining forces this holiday season with a new multi-media product release, sharing resources and swapping shop tours.

better world butter dish, would works, people's pottery project, made in LA

The Better World Butter Dish, a 2021 holiday collaboration between WW and PPP, is available for presale in our store.

1 "Reducing Homelessness for People with Behavioral Health Needs Leaving Prisons and Jails: Recommendations to California’s Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health", CSG Justice Center https://csgjusticecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Reducing-Homelessness-CA_Final.pdf

2  “California profile,” Prison Policy Initiative, accessed November 2020, https://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/CA.html; HUD, HUD 2019 Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Programs Homeless Populations and Subpopulations; Nicole Eberhart et al., “Monitoring Californians’ Mental Health Population Surveillance Reveals Gender, Racial/Ethnic, Age, and Regional Disparities,” Rand Health Quarterly 8, no. 3 (2019), 5, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557041/?report=printable.

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