Help us change how people view youth homelessness

After four years of intense work, The Homestretch is finally nearing completion. As they get ready to release the film, co-directors/producers Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly are simultaneously launching the first steps of a major audience engagement strategy for their film about homeless teens in Chicago: please help them do it!

The Homestretch tells the story of three homeless teenagers who brave Chicago winters, the pressures of high school, and life alone on the streets to build a brighter future. Against all odds, these kids defy stereotypes as they create new, surprising definitions of home. Can they recover from the traumas of abandonment and homelessness and build the future they dream of?

With unprecedented access into the Chicago Public Schools, The Night Ministry’s “Crib" Emergency Shelter and Teen Living Programs, The Homestretch follows these kids as they move through the milestones of high school while searching for a warm place to sleep, a quiet place to study, the privacy to shower. The film goes beyond high school, to focus on the crucial transition after graduation, when the structure of school vanishes, and homeless youth struggle to find the support and community they need to survive and be independent. A powerful, original perspective on what it means to be young, homeless and building a future in America today.

The film is co-directed by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly. The film has been funded, in part, by The MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Chicago Community Trust, Polk Bros. Foundation, and Pierce Family Foundation, among others. But we need your help to reach the finish line.

Here is a list of some upcoming events at which the filmmakers will be presenting excerpts or sneak previews of the film and discussing the issues at the heart of youth homelessness ahead of their eventual world premiere later this spring. To contact them, please email or find the film on Facebook and Twitter.

March 6th/7th
McKinney-Vento State Coordinators Convening in Washington, D.C.
Hosted by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

Monday, March 10th - 5:00pm
A private Chicago event for homeless youth advocates & policymakers, hosted by Bryan Samuels, Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Wednesday, March 12th - 4:30pm
Preview screening & discussion at the Housing First National Partners Conference, Chicago.
Hosted by Debbie Reznick of Polk Bros. Foundation

Monday, March 24th - time TBD
Preview at National Network 4 Youth Summit, with panel discussion.

Donate here to support the film.