VIDEO: Students Paint Mural at Homeless Shelter for Webster Works Worldwide


This year for Webster Works Worldwide a group helped a local homeless shelter create a visual representation of its main program. The shelter, Gateway 180 near downtown St. Louis, helps women and children get back into living in a home.


“They’re actually creating a mural in our dining room that is going to be directly related to the programming that we do,” Gateway 180 Development Director Jenn Lyke said. “Its called the 180 way mural.”

The group consisted of eight Webster students. The mural begins on the left with a road that is rough looking and has a broken fence to signify the rough part of life. The road continues up but there is another road on the right. This is called the turn lane which signifies turning away from the hard part of life and onto the path to recovering from troubled times.

Mural at Gateway 180 by Webster University students in 1994

The mural the Webster Works group worked on is half of Gateway 180s philosophy. The other half will be added on another wall of the dining room to complete the four-part philosophy of getting back on track from homelessness.

While at Gateway 180 two of the volunteers updated the organization’s name on an existing mural in a different room. The mural was of the building and was originally done by Webster University students in 1994. Since then the organization’s name has changed twice.

The group spent almost seven hours volunteering for Webster Works. The volunteers enjoyed helping out even though it took a good amount of the day.

“I love doing it,” senior Dana Gruber said. “You get to get out of class for the day and go out and do something, and meet new people.”

180 Way mural at Gateway 180

Gruber has participated in Webster Works each year since her freshman year and even did two projects her sophomore year. She said she chose the mural project because each year she has only done outdoor projects in the past and wanted to paint this year.

This year is the 17th year of Webster Works Worldwide. It gives people the opportunity to use their skills to help others.

“It allows students to get together and use their talents that they’ve acquired at Webster, as right now we’re using our art talents,” senior Tori Gilbert said. “It’s a really good way to bond and show people that Webster really does like to give back to the community.”

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