Annie, Trading Places, and The Fisher King are the first movies I recall seeing that had characters who were homeless. Homelessness has made it into mainstream media more than I ever expected it would. And, yes, I think this is good. But even with “The Soloist” showing on the silver screen, I don’t think we have fairly brought the crisis (and yes, it is a crisis for all of us) into the collective consciousness.
I think we need to expose who the people who are without housing are. De-stigmatize homelessness and address the solutions. Exposure may be the key to that.
Saturday night I was at a party and had a long conversation with a film maker. We discussed what a documentary on homelessness should cover. I want your opinion.
I want to see people who are homeless from a variety of causes:
- job loss,
- mental health issues,
- substance abuse,
- domestic violence,
- cooccuring disorders,
- run aways,
- increased cost of housing,
- lack of education
- and unemployment/chronic underemployment.\
I want to:
- Follow people as they discover and try out public and private resources.
- Interview family members, co workers and friends and show the strain that loving and supporting someone through this situation can put on a relationship.
- Interview service providers: what do they offer and what would they like to offer and WHO are these people who do social work in the Homeless Arena. As a social worker I know that sometimes the most intriguing part of the crisis are the folks who offer the solutions. If you don’t believe me: Google Mark Horvath and HardlyNormal.
- Explore the social service options and show what homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters really look like
- Ask “average” members of society what their emotional and political views are on homelessness.