After a seven-year hiatus, an artist became inspired to pick up a paintbrush again, hoping that his vibrant canvases could fund new lives for the homeless.

Moved by a Christian book into taking action in his community, Brian Peterson decided to reach out and befriend local homeless citizens and learn about their stories, dreams, and struggles.

Since he started his nonprofit, Faces Of Santa Ana, Brian has painted portraits of Californians living in poverty so he can sell the pieces and use the money to support their housing.nasir sobhani cutting hair 1 Copyright Scott Bradshaw

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Brian has created three paintings of his homeless friends – Matt, Shannon, and Darryl – who have all signed their portraits, two of which have sold for $1,500 a piece in Orange County’s downtown galleries.

faces-of-santa-ana-matt-portraitBrian gives two thirds of the proceeds to the housing advocacy group, Home Aid, so they can work towards getting his friends in poverty off the streets for good.

After Matt’s portrait sold this week, Faces Of Santa Ana posted on Instagram about the impact it has made.

“Today, Matt’s life changes. Matt’s painting sold last night and we can begin the journey into his recovery. I’m so grateful and humbled by the people in this world willing to purchase a piece and join us on this journey. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are now a blessing to someone else’s life.”

Brian is currently back at the drawing board, ready to produce more pieces to benefit the community and also create a “call for artists” to help with the project.

His vision of bridging the understanding gap will soon expand to encompass the buyers, subjects, and artists during a February gallery opening featuring more paintings and a meet-and-greet between the art patrons and the homeless people their purchases support.Tabrizi Outside Restaurant Facebook

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“I think about scaling this model all the time,” Brian told the Good News Network. “Southern California has a rich population of local artists that can bring unique styles and perspectives to the Faces of Santa Ana model. I’d love to take them out in the field with me to learn the stories, hopes, and dreams of these [homeless] people that they will meet and soon paint.”

Photo Credit: Faces Of Santa Ana Facebook

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