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Secrets to Winning the Homeless Sensitivity Poster and Essay Contest

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Deadline extended: January 26.

The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is excited to announce The Bass Museum of Art is joining as an official sponsor of the 2023 Homeless Sensitivity Poster and Essay Contest. With their partnership, we are opening the contest earlier than ever to give students time to create excellent work worthy of display at the Miami Beach museum location.

This year’s poster and essay contest theme is Hope and Youth Homelessness. Our judges can’t wait to see how Miami-Dade County Public School students bring creativity to the fore and use the arts to create real change in their community. 

Winning students and teachers will receive up to $300 in prizes. Winning posters will be displayed at The Bass Museum of Art for a limited time during their Teen Art Exhibition in May 2024! Winning posters will also be donated to area shelters in our Continuum of Care. Winning essays will be read aloud by winners to the 27-member Homeless Trust board and then shared on social media platforms.

The deadline for all poster and essay submissions has been extended to January 26, at 5 p.m.

If you’re interested in participating in the Homeless Sensitivity Poster and Essay Contest, please review our contest guidelines.

So, what can you do to improve your chances of winning?  

Here’s a few secrets to success for the poster contest:

  • Avoid showing the exchange of money or food – there are other ways to care for people experiencing homelessness
  • Integrating a Homeless Trust logo never hurts (but it’s by no means not mandatory)
  • Judges enjoy realistic artwork, but abstract, modern, and graphic design artwork is welcome
  • Check for spelling mistakes if using words in your artwork

Here’s a few secrets to success for the essay contest: 

  • Always have an adult proofread your work
  • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes in your essay – sloppy grammar can eliminate an otherwise great essay
  • Judges disqualify essays that refer to feeding people on the streets, inviting people experiencing homelessness into your home, as well as giving out money, even though well-intentioned
  • If you write about policy issues, be sure to review the Homeless Trust’s website and/or news articles to have a better understanding on how the Trust’s policies play a role in our community

The Homeless Sensitivity Poster and Essay Contest was created after the passing of Norris Gaynor, one of three unsheltered men attacked during an early-morning assault on January 12, 2006, by South Florida teens. The purpose of the poster and essay contest is to build awareness, understanding, and compassion among Miami-Dade County Public School students for our unsheltered population.