“What do you do when you feel stuck?” “How are you going to change it; how are you going to make your story better?” All these question are answered in the documentary “The Homestrech”, by Kristen Kelly and Anne De Mare. “The Homestech” was premiered on April 26, 2014 at the HotDocs Film Festival. This documentary follows three teens that are homeless and live in Chicano. The rates for homeless youth is unreal, in the short film it stated, “There are more than 19,000 students registered as homeless with the Chicago public schools and nationwide there is an estimate if 1.6 million.” We learn about each person’s story and how they are trying to better their lives. We see their struggles and their high and low points through the process and we learn the scary reality of being a young teen living on the streets.
I wanted to switch things up a bit, instead of reading another article or newspaper I wanted to watch a documentary. By watching the film “The Homestrech” it really helped me deepen my analysis of homelessness by seeing these young teen stories and see the struggled of being homeless, but also the struggled of finding stability. What I didn’t realize is that being homelessness affects every other aspect of your life. For example these kids are trying to better their lives by going to school for a better future to get them out of poverty, but even trying to complete the homework is a struggle. These kids have no computer, no Wi-Fi, they don’t even have their own space to study. Everything this becomes an obstacle when you are homeless.
What this documentary helped me realized is being homeless can be a vicious cycle, once you are in it’s hard to get out. These teens are dealing with so many stressors like finding a place to sleep, finding their next meal and on top of that trying to pass their classes. I know I personally couldn’t do it all. In “The Homestech” it talks about The Crib, a night ministry youth shelter and the Teen living Program. These programs help young teens get on their feet, but what I realized from this film is that they do so much more than that. These young teens believe that they are failures, they believe that they are worthless and aren’t good for anything. These programs give these teens hope and teach them they do have strengths and can be successful.
The word Homeless is such a stagnant word. Being homeless is so much more complex than just no having a stable place to live. There is a whole emotional and psychological aspect to being homeless and that is what this film taught me. By watching this film you see a whole other side of what being homeless is like and honestly by watching this film it strengthened my passion for finding better help and recourses for these people with such powerful stories.