Last night, The MacArthur Foundation hosted the Chicago Premiere of “The Homestretch” documentary at the Spertus Institute.
The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. As the audience watched these stories unfold, the film connected the audience with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights.
Filmmakers, Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly, and the “stars” of The Homestretch gave a Q&A following the film and issued a call to action that includes donating emergency supplies, advocating for runaway and homeless youth locally, and urging authorization The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA).
The film’s release coincides with 40th anniversary year of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA). This landmark federal legislation launched a system of emergency shelters for young people without a stable place to live and later expanded to include programs that reach out to youth living on the streets and prepare young people to live independently. Today, RHYA programs are instrumental in the federal government’s work to end youth homelessness by 2020.
NRS is honored to serve on The Homestretch advisory task force.
Read more on the film (here) and last night’s premiere (here);
Check out The Homestretch documentary showing at Gene Siskel film center September 12th through September 18th;
And, visit our blog for more coverage of the screenings throughout the week!