Mental Health Monday Arts Programming for People Experiencing Homelessness

Homelessness is a serious concern in the United States, increasing by 6% since 2017. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, over 3500 people experience homelessness on any night in Alabama. Local shelters often provide meals, life-skill training, and other services. Some even provide opportunities for arts engagement. This month VMHM will explore a Birmingham-based program, InToto Creative Arts Forum, dedicated to providing a safe space for creative exploration for those affected by homelessness or incarceration.

Please contact Lauren Edwards with any questions (


Tam DeBolt is a woman of the North, living in the South, and loving it. She worked in the Manufacturing Automation field for years, after moving to Birmingham in 1998, all while doing local and professional theatre both here in Alabama and regionally. During that time she performed, directed, and designed at almost every theatre in town. In 2016, Tam was hired to be the Executive Director of Terrific New Theatre, right after one of its founders – Carl Stewart – retired. When the pandemic closed the doors of TNT on March 14, 2020, Tam set out to find a new building for the theatre, so it could reopen once the health crisis was past us. Today, more than three years since that fateful day, she is still doing just that

It was during the pandemic that Tam met Kyle … a man with an idea and a dream. Together, they created InToto Creative Arts Forum. Shortly after their first meeting, more people quickly became part of the plan and the non-profit was born. The original idea was to take theatre to the men at The Firehouse, as a creative outlet of expression and since then the program has expanded to feature poetry, creative writing, visual art of MANY mediums, improv, and movement classes.

Kyle Tyree is originally from Nachitoches, Louisiana and has settled in Birmingham after obtaining a degree in international business from Auburn University. A commercial contractor by trade, Kyle began with a small firm in 1997 while in college and worked his way up to partner over 12 years. He became licensed in commercial construction and started Locke General Contractors in 2012 which is still going strong. Kyle is a former French and Latin teacher at Red Mountain Community School, a developer, philanthropist and a serial entrepreneur having a number of businesses.
InToto was a vision that occurred to Kyle as a result of reading The Body Keeps the Score and was initially an idea of therapy through theatre with the help of Tam Debolt. That was curtailed by the Covid pandemic but with the help of numerous other artists in the Birmingham area, InToto was able to pivot and flourish using many mediums such as visual arts, poetry, movement and music. InToto continues to grow, having begun at the Firehouse emergency men’s shelter, we now have many community partners along with volunteer helpers and teachers.

UAB AIM’s Virtual Mental Health Monday Series is made possible by

Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation

Miriam Kirklin Reed

Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust

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