So we did it. For now. The money everyone pledged was for me to get back to Chicago, to see if I could find the people I met last year, and to find out why they are among the thousands of people living on the streets in Chicago any given night.
One thing I learned about documentaries that has always drawn my interest is their ability to change at any given moment. You can plan and prepare all you want, but one answer, action or discovery can change the entire story. Our plan was simple, but has quickly turned into something overwhelming, enormous and impossible to solve. And that’s ok. It actually makes our small, daily, individual efforts, and the final product of this documentary more important.
Here is where we are now…
I just got back home after spending a few days in Chicago last week, where I interviewed several people from different organizations that are in one way or another involved with helping people experiencing homelessness. From vans packed with social workers and nurse practitioners, to sectors of the city that are dedicated to the cause, I spent last week meeting with people to try to piece together the options available to individuals when experiencing homelessness.
A few themes arose, including the biggest obstacles, the most effective outreach, and how dynamic the difficulties of these individuals can be. I quickly learned I will need more interviews to tell the story, and I continue to develop research, production, funding and distribution plans to accommodate these needs…
So with the first round of interviews complete, and the editing underway, I will continue to set up interviews as questions arise, and search for production help in the form of illustrators, colorists and SFX editors and musicians for the score.
Feel free to reach out with questions. Please keep spreading the word. It’s amazing how far a quick nod or ‘hello,’ can go to helping a person feel better about themselves, which could be the catalyst for getting them back on their feet.