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The Homestretch

2014
Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Anne De Mare and Kirsten Kelley
Directed by Anne De Mare and Kirsten Kelley
DVD, color, Theatrical version 89 min., Broadcast/Educational version 53 min.
Sr. High - General Adult
African-Americans, Anthropology, Adolescents, Education, Gay, Gender Studies, Public Health, Latin Americans, Homelessness, Immigration, Law, Poverty, Sociology, Urban Areas


Reviewed by Deidra N. Herring, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 5/4/2015

The Homestretch is a high quality film that provides a broad perspective and rare look into the world of three homeless teenagers struggling to obtain what most take for granted. The basic necessities like food and shelter don’t come easy for the thousands of homeless youth living in Chicago attending public schools. The film is an incredibly important documentary that exposes the barriers to homeless teens struggling to graduate from high school desperately wanting to live better lives. While the film can be difficult to watch, it realistically provides answers to the how and why.

Not only do the producers do an excellent job of introducing the students and their individual situations, but provide insight into the limited programs and resources available to Chicago students. Programs include The Night Ministry’s Crib emergency youth shelter and Teen Living Programs’ Belfort House. Unfortunately, there are more homeless children than there are shelters or temporary living facilities. A variety of dedicated teachers, social workers, unpaid mentors and liaisons continuously support the overwhelming number of youths who need help in their communities. “…Homelessness is a situation- It’s not who you are…”

The DVD is highly recommended for older audiences and most libraries. It is also a great resource for anyone with an interest in researching the LBGTQ perspective.