Documentary – 2014 – USA – 90 Minutes – Kartemquin Films Limited – Unrated
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. Through haunting images, intimate scenes, and first-person narratives, these teens take us on their journeys of struggle and triumph. As their stories unfold, the film connects us deeply with larger issues of juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights.
With unprecedented access into the Chicago Public Schools, The Night Ministry’s “Crib” emergency youth shelter and Teen Living Programs’ Belfort House, The Homestretch follows these kids as they move through the milestones of high school while navigating a landscape of couch hopping, emergency shelters, transitional homes, street families and a school system on the front lines of this crisis. The film examines the struggles these youth face in obtaining a high school level education, and then follows them beyond graduation to focus on the crucial transition 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.
Directed by Anne de Mare , Kirsten Kelly
SPECIAL LIMITED ENGAGEMENT – ONE NIGHT ONLY – THURSDAY, APRIL 02 AT 6 PM
Featured Guest Speakers – Audience discussion following screening
Wayne Martin is a retired clergyman and hospice chaplain. Throughout his career he has been a committed public advocate for the unhoused, even when it induced petulance in his congregations. He is devoted to the mandate for social justice and equity that is the core of Judeo-Christian sacred writing and history. He is a Vietnam veteran and holds a doctorate from Boston University in Religious Literature. His interests include creative philanthropy, slow money, jazz, Bach, traditional spirituals, hiking, photography, college sports, and publishing the occasional poem. He currently serves on the Opportunity Village Eugene Support Committee, the board of the Eugene Jazz Station, and presides over the Board of Directors for Encircle Films Eugene. He also serves as the father of six adult children and grandfather of theirs, a position now more honorary than obligatory.
Jana graduated in 2008 with a Multimedia Design Associate of Applied Science Degree from Lane Community College in Eugene Oregon. She has been an active member of her community with several non-profit organizations including Community Television of Lane County, NukeInfo, GREEN (Grassroots Renewable Energy Education Network), and GEAR (Green Energy Alternative Research).
As the co-founder of OEMG (The Occupy Eugene Media Group) she manages the occupyeugenemedia youtube channel and has personally produced over 200 videos related to social justice in a variety of formats since the fall of 2011, including short documentaries, training videos, music, theater, and 1hr. Occupy TV shows. Jana is an avid unhoused advocate, as well as experienced videographer, photographer and editor, who creates media as a means for helping her community. She is currently completing an online media library project called Community Solutions Media–Supporting the Unhoused.The library project will aid unhoused advocates everywhere, with media to help their efforts while also ensuring that historical Occupy Eugene footage from over a dozen contributors is preserved in the University of Oregon Archives.
Jana has documented Occupy Eugene and the SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) campaign as her effort through media to inform the public and use the democratic process to gain alternatives for our citizens’ emergency needs. Jana Thrift believes, “Supporting the unhoused is part of the effort to create a better democracy with crucial human rights protected and more equal rights for ALL citizens.”