February 19, 2015 11:07 am
Kirsten Kelly and Anne de Mare's The Homestretch continues to gather strong momentum in its social impact campaign's bid to end youth homelessness. With multiple screenings set across the country (and more coming into us each day), political activity, and media interest ahead of the April 13th world television premiere of the film on PBS Independent Lens, there is cause for optimism that the film is helping to bring much need attention and action to this issue.
Today at 2pm ET, the National Family & Youth Services Bureau, The Night Ministry, and the film's associate producer Will Thwaites will be joined by many other homeless services agencies will all join a Twitter chat at the #NCFYtalk hashtag to discuss how the film already is and will be helping organizations across the country generate empathy, spark dialogue, and influence policy. Join the chat here.
The conversation comes at a very important time for the film, as within the next month it heads to Washington D.C. for screenings on Capitol Hill on 2/24, screens at the 2015 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness in San Diego, and to thousands of educators at SXSWedu in Austin, and plays in over 75 cities as part of ITVS Community Cinema.
Attention in the film is at a new high this month also thanks to a widely-shared article from The Atlantic: "Young, Homeless—and Invisible." Writing that "the documentary demonstrates the complexity of the issue—a problem that's often hidden from the public eye," Terrance Ross states: "where The Homestretch most succeeds as a film lies squarely in its authentic, no-frills portrayal of what it means to be young and homeless in America. It doesn't overload the screen with tear-jerking montages of young panhandlers tethered to street corners, begging cup in tow. Instead, it reveals that, in the U.S., youth homelessness is as subtle as it is insidious—and that disagreements over what "homelessness" looks and feels like, and over the role schools should play in conquering it, have perhaps been the greatest obstacle to finding a solution."
Look for The Homestretch in a town near you - or bring it there yourself - by visiting http://www.homestretchdoc.com/events. The film is also available to watch on iTunes and other digital platforms, and available to buy on DVD for individuals and institutions.
We're also inviting you to host a viewing party during the week of the PBS national broadcast on Independent Lens this April 13th-18th and take crucial steps towards educating your community about the needs of local homeless youth. We will provide you with resources to help set up your viewing event and facilitate a discussion, as well as add your event to our online calendar. Please sign up here: http://www.homestretchdoc.com/house-party-sign-up/