Anthony spent his childhood in foster homes and went out on his own at the age of 14. After years of jumping from school to school and being homeless, he is proud to be self-taught. He recently passed his GED and was accepted into the Year Up Chicago Program where he has an internship in telecommunications. A talented poet, rapper and entrepreneur, Anthony never stops planning and working for success.
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Kasey spent over a year bouncing around between friends, family members and sleeping on the street, ultimately dropping out of high school her senior year. We meet Kasey in the film as she just enters a new transitional home and is re-enrolled in school. Kasey is a poet, a painter and is a tremendous source of support for her huge network of friends.
Due to immigration complications Roque was forced to separate from his family and fend for himself on and off, beginning his sophomore year of high school. With an unstable family and housing situation, Roque spent several years bouncing around. One of his teachers introduced him to Shakespeare and acting and he became inspired to finish high school and go to college. With his teacher’s support, he hopes to go into theater and psychology and help others through some of the challenges he has faced.
Maria is a mother, wife, public-school teacher and writer who currently lives on the southwest side of Chicago. Born and raised in and around Detroit, Michigan, Maria came to Chicago in the early 1990’s with her brothers, in pursuit of an education and a better life. She works as an educator in the Chicago Public School system and with many educational partner organizations such as Chicago Shakespeare Theater and 826CHI.
The Night Ministry’s The Crib
The Night Ministry has been a national leader in providing housing and conducting street outreach to Chicago’s homeless youth. It opened The Crib in January 2011 to provide 20 overnight emergency shelter beds for homeless young people ages 18 – 24. During the four-month pilot period, The Crib provided shelter to 138 young people. Encouraged by The Crib’s success at building relationships with Chicago’s street-based youth, the City of Chicago provided funding for The Night Ministry to operate the program seasonally until 2013 when funding from the City of Chicago and private funders made it possible to operate the program year-round.
Teen Living Programs’ Belfort House
Teen Living Programs builds community, hope and opportunity for youth who are homeless by addressing their immediate needs and helping them achieve independence and stable housing. TLP intensively serves over 500 young people a year through a continuum of services that includes outreach, prevention and supportive services, along with three residential programs: a 4-bed emergency shelter for minors; Belfort House, a 24-bed transitional living program; and CaSSA, a 10-apartment independent living program.