"The Homestretch puts a face on the reality of teen homelessness often "hidden" in plain sight, sometimes silently sitting in high school classrooms unsuspected by classmates and teachers. The Homestretch is a story of poverty, violence, loneliness, and pain." Bob Dugan, Big Think
Evanston, IL — January 16, 2016: Last year, over 19,000 students were identified as homeless in the Chicago Public Schools; and this is not an isolated issue. There are layers of obstacles preventing positive solutions to the problem of youth homelessness. The Homestretch is a feature documentary that explores the lives of homeless adolescents in Chicago, breaking harmful stereotypes to build the urgency necessary to address the national crisis of youth homelessness — particularly examining the struggles of unaccompanied homeless youth.
The Unitarian Church of Evanston is hosting an educational screening of the film at 7:00 PM on January 16, 2016 at 1330 Ridge Ave., Evanston, IL. A potluck dinner will precede the screening at 6:30 PM. This screening is free and open to the public.
"Homestretch tells the stories of homeless youth in our backyard. You will see several social service programs that the Unitarian Church of Evanston has partnered with. The film's gift to the viewer is a deeper understanding of the problem. And it is from this place that compassion and action can emerge. " — Christine Allender, event organizer, Rainbow Alliance and Food and Shelter Team at the Unitarian Church of Evanston.
"It is our hope that, through the deeply personal journeys of Kasey, Anthony and Roque, this film can shine a much needed light on one of the most hidden and exploited populations in America — unaccompanied homeless youth. " Anne De Mare & Kirsten Kelly — Co-Directors & Producers
About HOSTING ORGANIZATION: The Unitarian Church of Evanston ( UCE ) is a Unitarian Universalist congregation whose purpose is "nurturing the human spirit for a world made whole." The Rainbow Alliance at UCE aims to support the rights of LGBTQ people and the Food and Shelter Team at UCE aims to help alleviate and educate about the issues of hunger and homelessness.
About THE HOMESTRETCH: 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. Against all odds, these kids defy stereotypes as they create new, surprising definitions of home. Can they recover from the traumas of abandonment and homelessness and build the future they dream of?