KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City muralist is giving back to the homeless shelter that helped him get back on his feet.
Artist Alexander Austin said City Union Mission saved his life when he fell on hard times after moving to KC.
In the time since Austin was homeless he's become a successful artist doing recognizable murals across the city. He works full time as an artist, which he says he is incredibly grateful for.
City Union Mission called him and asked if he would paint on one of their walls to bring awareness to homelessness in Kansas City. Austin said there was no way he could say no.
He said the mural represents the different stages and emotions of homelessness.
"I like to express in the mural the feeling that I felt when I was here," Austin said. "All those emotions. The tears, you know. The laughter. I just want to express that to people that there is hope. There are people here that will help you, and I just wanted to convey that here in the mural."
Austin wants to make sure people who are going through a time of homelessness don't lose faith and know there's hope for their situation.
"I would say that the greatest treasures are found in the darkest waters," Austin said. "No matter what you’re going through, no matter how dark it is -- you are a shining piece of gold to God."
Austin said over the holidays the Mission will help more than 300 people living in homelessness. He said if people can help them in any way, he would be appreciative. If you would like to donate to City Union Mission you can do so here.