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Debunking Homelessness Myths and Addressing the Housing Crisis Through Art

Mr B Baby's piece "No Place for Home" sheds a raw and emotional light onto the housing crisis

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Jul 26, 2023



This Curation is part of Be the Change.

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A partnership between Michelle Ruby, known as Mr B Baby, and The Pico Union Project, No Place for Home addresses the pressing issue of the housing crisis, both in LA and globally.

No Place For Home combines acrylic and spray paint to portray two houses, with people desperately trying to make it into one, symbolizing the scarcity of affordable housing and the universal search for a place to belong. Inspired by her daughter, Mr B Baby, who is typically a muralist, infuses her work with a whimsical children’s book vibe.

The artist’s personal connection to the theme shines through as she highlights the impact of the housing crisis on her community. As a single mother, she understands firsthand how minimum wage fails to provide a livable income, affecting her and countless others in her community. She aims to debunk the misconception that homelessness is solely tied to mental health and drug issues, emphasizing the need to treat housing as a human right rather than criminalizing those who are houseless.

One side of No Place For Home in Plummer Park, Los Angeles

One side of No Place For Home in Plummer Park, Los Angeles


A Latina born and raised in San Diego, California, Michelle Ruby uses elements of her heritage as inspiration for her striking and lively artwork. Heavily influenced by her community, as well as her Puerto Rican/Mexican upbringing, she combines vibrant colors with traditional imagery.

Mr B Baby is able to uplift her audience and intrigue her viewers. She bring happiness and joy to her community through her art, while also delivering powerful messages.

Hear more about her piece in her own words:


JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture.



Given the artist's emotional connection to the housing crisis and her aim to communicate this issue through her art piece, how does the use of acrylic and spray paint and the overall visual representation in the piece convey the desperation of the housing situation?


The artist talks about using her art as a platform to raise awareness about the housing crisis and its association with issues beyond just mental health and drug problems. How does her art piece challenge or change your perception of homelessness?


How does understanding the mission and actions of the Pico Union Project give you a new perspective on the role of art and community engagement in tackling societal problems like the housing crisis?

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