Moving the crowd at Housing First Partners Conference

Attendees of the Housing First Partners Conference were treated to a sneak peek of Kartemquin's new film The Homestretch yesterday. The audience was filled with experts working to end homelessness through the many facets of Housing First. All three of the young people featured in the film - Kasey, Anthony, and Roque – were in attendance and took questions from the audience. View photos of the event here. The audience response to their presence was incredible.

In addition to words of encouragement, the audience had questions about how the kids are doing now, how the experience of temporary housing shaped them and what the future holds.

“I wouldn’t be who I am today without the support of Teen Living Program (TLP),” said Kasey. “They helped bring me out of my shell, and now I’m an advocate for them and the support they offer.” Kasey offers shelter to her friends and is focused on her writing and a video project of her own.

Anthony, who now has his own apartment and a job said, “The people at TLP helped bring me up and bring me out. I had so many ‘firsts’ with them: first time at a Bulls game, first time at a Bears game, first time golfing.” Anthony is working towards getting custody of his son.

One of Roque’s teachers took him in to live with her family. Roque said, “Those people who tell you ‘you’re great,’ and ‘you’ll make it’ are so helpful. Their support motivates you to keep going.” He added, “If I didn’t have them, I never would have applied to college.”

More good news to share

The Homestretch is 75% of the way to our funding goal on Kickstarter and have two weeks left to raise finishing funds! Your contribution helps finish the film and launch an ambitious 2-year Impact Campaign to bring awareness and support to the crisis of youth homelessness. Please share the campaign to help reach the goal of finishing the film and beginning outreach!

March 12, 2014 also had a simultaneous event in Chicago, where The Homestretch editor, Leslie Simmer, presented a sneak peek of the film as part of Comfort Station’s residency program.