"The Homestretch" A documentary about youth homelessness

Author: University of Notre Dame & Youth Service Bureau

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 7:00PM - 9:00PM

Browning Cinema, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Location: Browning Cinema, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

In partnership with the University of Notre Dame, The Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County is creating awareness events about youth homelessness focused around a documentary film called “The Homestretch”.  This film highlights the story of three homeless teenagers in Chicago. It shines light on the reasons young people can become homeless, the dangers they face on the streets, the daily struggle for survival and the resiliency that can lead them to a better life. 

Friday, November 7

The Homestretch - http://www.homestretchdoc.com

Directed by Annd de Mare and Kristen Kelly

Not Rated, 89 minutes, DCP

FREE - Tickets required at http://performingarts.nd.edu/

The Issue

  • With input from local law enforcement and our own client contact, YSB estimates that there are approximately 1,000 young people (ages ranging from 12-24) who experience homelessness every year in St. Joseph County.
  • The longer youth remain homeless, physical assault, rape, human trafficking; and serious mental health risks are greatly amplified. ( Source: National Coalition for the Homeless)
  • The population of 18-24 year olds who are homeless is growing significantly. 
  • Up to 40% of homeless youth identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans-gender or Questioning. (LGBTQ) (Source: True Colors Fund's Forty to None Project 2013) Many are kicked out of home by family after coming out.
  • 46% of runaway and homeless youth reported being physically abused.  ( Source: National Coalition for the Homeless)

The events

The film will be shown in its entirety on Friday, November 7 at 7pm at The DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts in the Browning Cinema on the campus of Notre Dame.  A brief panel discussion will immediately follow the 90 minute film; and will include one of the young people featured in The Homestretch, one of the film’s directors, The Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County, and representatives from The University of Notre Dame.

The evening screening will be the culmination of a day-long series of activities designed to engage and inform educators, key community leaders, elected officials and the general public that there is an issue of youth homelessness in St. Joseph County.  

The Impact

1) The Homestretch film will help raise awareness that youth homelessness is an issue in St. Joseph County.

2) Inform the community what YSB, The Center for the Homeless, the Center for Social Concerns, and other community groups are doing to help.

3) State the need to direct funding to areas that can have the greatest impact.

4) Communicate the need for more accurate data about the number of youth homeless in St. Joseph County, and engage key players to assist in the gathering of data. 

5) Get feedback from school officials, employers and community leaders on their needs and   how addressing the problems of youth homeless can have a positive impact on the community and the local economy.

When we intervene and help young people in crisis situations make positive change, we can help end cycles of poverty and violence. By shedding light on this issue, we can begin to move young people to safety and improve the life of the community.

The Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County is a 501(c) (3) organization serving youth in crisis in our community since 1972.  We provide street outreach, emergency shelter for youth, counseling and social development programs for children in local elementary schools, and transitional housing, support and guidance to young mothers and their children.  With focused programming, YSB helps participants to increase a sense of safety, increase self-worth; gain self-sufficiency skills; and connect in positive ways with caring adults.

Co-presented by the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Center for Social Concerns, Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, Youth Services Bureau