@home at the Indianapolis Central Library!

Photo credit: School on Wheels

Photo credit: School on Wheels

Thank you to Susan Davis and her staff for organizing the @home film screening at the Central Library in Indianapolis. I was glad to see that a good crowd showed up on a lovely summer night to watch a film about homelessness. Many in the crowd work in homeless services, some were homeless people themselves and many were just curious about what Mark and the film could tell them. This mix made for a great discussion afterwards, and audience members pushed Mark to give them tangible advice and possible solutions to the crisis in their community.

I am always grateful to those in our audiences who stand up and share their story. I think it’s a great testament to Mark’s work and the film that people feel empowered to do so. They tell me that they feel comfortable sharing because Mark has been through the same things, and they trust him.

It has been a little over a year since @home premiered in Chicago and almost five years to the day since we started filming. Since that time there has been some movement around veteran and youth homelessness, but in general, the issue remains daunting. Mark presented a few staggering statistics, the one that stayed with me: 22% of Americans believe that homeless people have no redeeming value.

I am now very aware of homeless populations when I go to a new city to screen the film. But during our screening in Indiana, I still got it wrong, when I tried to identify who among the audience was homeless and who was not. Stereotypes don’t tell the whole story, and as Pathways to Housing founder Sam Tsemberis says in the film, people are still slipping through the cracks of the middle class. I’m also well aware that many people with full time employment still struggle to get by.

One piece of good news is that Mark himself has found security. After moving to Syracuse, New York, leaving his years in Hollywood and LA behind, he has a well paying job in marketing, a very nice place to live and has resumed a social life. This was heartening to hear and I am truly happy for him. My hope is that his story and this film can work as a catalyst to help others get to that same stable place.

Susanne Suffredin, Director @home

 

@home March Broadcast

@home will be broadcast on public television stations in 35 states starting March 25th! The documentary is being featured on WORLD Channel programs. Help us spread the word via social media to your communities!   

The point of this movie is to create a conversation on people experiencing homelessness and solutions to help them.  If you live in one of those communities and are a make-things-happen type person, it would be awesome if you (or a team) would start promoting the PBS airing and make some kind of an event happen. If you want to make it a fundraiser, PLEASE PICK A LOCAL HOMELESS SERVICES to benefit. It’s important we fight homelessness at a local level. Plus, supporting a local homeless services would just be a better fit for any local event.

If you’re a homeless services and @home is playing in your area, you may want to host a screening at your facility. Be creative, have fun, and share share share on social media!

We are hoping to create buzz and engagement across the viewing markets and have prepared some tools to help start the conversation, begin a dialogue, and encourage local viewers to sound the @home call!  

  • Mark, the subject of the film has created a great PhotoShop template to use to make graphics. You just have to change out the city, station and times. If you are hosting an event of course feel free to use to promote that event!
  • Deb Brown was wonderful enough to craft and post a press release.  Feel free to use or lift copy as needed. If you’re hosting a local event please use yourself or a spokesperson as media contact.
  • Our hashtag is #AtHomePBS - promote on Twitter with your local viewing time and station! 
  • Seattle University created a discussion guide for the film that is in PDF. Feel free to print and use as discussion fodder for your screening and within your community. 

Screening times are as follows: 

EASTERN STANDARD TIME
Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 12:00 AM8:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Saturday, March 28 at 1:00 PM ET

WEDU – Tampa, FL                       NHPTV – Durham, NH
WPBT – North Miami, FL               WNET – New York, NY
WUCF – Orlando, FL                     WNED – Buffalo, NY
WXEL – West Palm Beach, FL      WMHT – Troy, NY
WJCT – Jacksonville, FL               WXXI – Rochester, NY
WSRE – Pensacola, FL                 WCNY – Syracuse, NY
WGCU – Fort Myers, FL                WCFE – Plattsburgh, NY
WUFT – Gainesville, FL                 WSKG – Vestal, NY
GEOR – Atlanta, GA                      WPBS – Watertown, NY
ALAB – Birmingham, AL                WVIZ – Cleveland, OH
WGBH – Boston, MA                     WOUB – Athens, OH
WGBY – Springfield, MA               WCTE – Cookeville, TN
MPBN – Bangor, ME                       WKNO – Cordova, TN
WTVS – Wixom, MI                        WETP – Knoxville, TN
WKAR – East Lansing, MI              WLJT – Martin, TN
WHYY – Philadelphia, PA              WHRO – Norfolk, VA
WQED – Pittsburgh, PA                 WBRA – Roanoke, VA
WPSU – University Park, PA          VERM – Colchester, VT
WQLN – Erie, PA

CENTRAL STANDARD TIME
Wednesday, March 25 at 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 7:00  AM and 1:00 PM
Saturday, March 28 at 12:00 PM

ARKA – Conway, AR                      KENT – Lexington, KY
IOWA – Johnston, IA                      WYES – New Orleans, LA
WTTW – Chicago, IL                      KWCM – Appleton, MN
WSIU – Carbondale, IL                  KETC – St. Louis, MO
WILL – Urbana, IL                          NDAK  – Fargo, ND
WMEC – Chatham, IL                    NEBR – Lincoln, NE
WTVP – Peoria, IL                         KERA – Dallas, TX
WTIU – Bloomington, IN                KLRN – San Antonio, TX
WVUT – Vincennes, IN                  WMVS – Milwaukee, WI

MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME
Wednesday, March 25 at 5:00 PM ant 10:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM
Saturday, March 28 at 11:00 AM

IDAH – Boise, ID                           SDAK – Vermillion, SD
MONT – Bozeman, MT                 KUED – Salt Lake City, UT

PACIFIC STANDARD TIME
Wednesday, March 25 at 4:00 PM and 9:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM
Saturday, March 28 at 10:00 AM

KUAC – Fairbanks, AK                  KIXE – Redding, CA
KAET – Phoenix, AZ                     KEET – Eureka, CA
KUAT – Tucson, AZ                      KNME – Albuquerque, NM
KOCE – Santa Ana, CA                KSYS – Medford, OR
KQED – San Francisco, CA          KSPS – Spokane, WA
KVIE – Sacramento, CA

Please be sure to double confirm your local PBS station's listings as there may be differences from city to city! 

If you're interested in promoting an event on a larger scale or hosting other events to bring @home to your community reach out to Meggie Cramer at mcramer@kindlinggroup.org or Mark Horvath at mark@invisiblepeople.tv.  

Live Chat with #AtHomeCampaign

Tomorrow night, @home will celebrate its broadcast premiere on WTTW-11, in our hometown of Chicago.

We’re so grateful to so many of our supporters and followers around the country, and we’d like you to be part of that special moment. That’s why the producers and Mark Horvath himself — aka @hardlynormal — will be answering your questions about homelessness, about the film, and how you can get involved live, on Twitter, during the broadcast.

Share questions and your reactions to the film or to any of our webisodes now, using #AtHomeCampaign. Then, follow along as we live tweet the broadcast at 9 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

ANNOUNCING: @home's Broadcast Premiere on WTTW-11!

 

We’re thrilled to announce the broadcast premiere of @home on WTTW-Chicago on Wednesday, December 17th at 9 p.m.! 

It’s a wonderful feeling being able to share this beautiful film with friends and family throughout Chicagoland, and to use this story to raise awareness about those who are in need during the holidays.

@home amplifies the power of Mark Horvath’s work and explores how social media and digital advocacy can challenge stereotypes and catalyze change for this issue, so often misunderstood and ignored. We’ve been very heartened by a lot of great press coming in about the film’s power, including this uplifting review from the American Library Association. 
 
To build on Mark’s model, we’re partnering with local homeless service organizations to run a social media campaign during the holiday season using #Thankful4Home asking folks to share why they’re thankful for a home during Thanksgiving and through the New Year. The campaign is part of a social media training program for local nonprofits to build social media expertise to better fundraise for their work and advocate for the homeless.
 
All of this buzz around homelessness during the holiday season will provide a much-needed jumping off-point for Chicagoans to discuss ways to help the homeless in their communities, including volunteering, advocacy, and fundraising for individuals and organizations in need. 

So save the date (December 17th at 9p.m.!) and join the conversation using #Thankful4Home as you head to your version of home for the holidays.

Thanks for everything!

- The @home team

P.S. — The waiting game for @home DVDs is over! Order your copy now.

Share a story about homelessness with StoryCorps

We are happy to announce a collaboration between @home and StoryCorps, the nation's largest oral history project. StoryCorps will record your own story about homelessness when you visit one of their story booths in Chicago, Atlanta, or San Francisco.

What was it like the first time you saw a homeless person? Have you ever walked by a homeless person and ignored them? Have you made a connection with someone who is homeless? Here are some examples of stories people have shared about homelessness.

As the holidays approach, this is your chance to share your story and deepen the conversation with friends and family about this often-overlooked issue.

Here's how StoryCorps works:

Step 1: Find an interview partner, preferably someone you know.

Step 2: Decide what story you want to share (sample questions below).

Step 3: Make your reservation online https://storycorps.org/reservations/ or by calling 1-800-850-4406Mention @HOME when making your reservation.

2014_09_06_StoryCorps_Stock_Photography_0372_web.jpg

Here is a list of questions to get you started:

1. How does homelessness impact you, your family, and/or your community?

2. Describe the experience of the first time you saw a homeless person? How did it make you feel? 

3. Describe a time you have experienced precarious or unstable housing yourself.

4. Have you ever been kicked out, evicted, or made to feel unsafe in your own home? Describe the situation. How did you respond?

5. Have you ever feared that you would become homeless? If you did become homeless, then what do you think caused it? If you did not, then what do you think prevented it?

6. Talk about a positive interaction you've had with a homeless person. 

7. Have you ever had a negative interaction with a homeless person? Please describe the situation. 

8. Have you ever given money to a homeless person? Please share about the experience. 

9. Have you ever walked by a homeless and ignored them? If so, why?

10. How do you feel about homelessness? 

11. Is homelessness growing or decreasing where you live?

12. If you're a parent, what do you share with your children about homelessness? What do they share with you? 

13. How do you feel we can end homelessness? 

Here is a quick summary of what to expect when you go to a story booth to share your story.

StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews from more than 80,000 participants. All StoryCorps interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Schedule your interview time today: https://storycorps.org/reservations/ or by calling 1-800-850-4406. Mention @HOME when making your reservation. 

If you have a question about this collaboration between @home and StoryCorps, please email info@kindlinggroup.org.

American Library Association gives @home a starred review

The American Library Association's Booklist reviewed @home in their October Video Review "Champions of the People." Booklist is a book-review magazine that has been published by the American Library Association for more than 100 years, and is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view, or listen to. @home received a starred review:

A recurring expression homeless-advocate Mark Horvath tweets after another wrenching encounter is that the homeless person’s situation or story “wrecks” him, and this compelling documentary may have the same impact on viewers. The subtitle, Start the Conversation, indicates the intent of the film: to raise awareness and get people talking. “We have a serious problem recognizing homelessness in this country” and “People turn away” are comments from observers.

The film follows Horvath on a more than 11,000-mile car trip across the country as he talks to homeless persons in shelters, tent cities, budget hotels, and other more unsafe and risky environments. Formerly homeless and sober for 20 years, Horvath is an empathetic interviewer and an indefatigable social-media activist (he posts videos online) who resolves to “solve homelessness in the next five or ten years.”

Director Susanne Suffredin combines cinema verité; on-location footage (including clips of Horvath during an earlier, more unstable period in his life); photographs; and interviews with homeless persons and advocates. Final credits update the status of some of the interviewees. By profiling Horvath and seeing the homeless epidemic through his eyes, this video resists compassion fatigue. Sure to be a potent discussion starter not only about homelessness but about the power of social media and the ability of Horvath to sustain the conversation. — Donald Liebenson

Read the review online: http://bit.ly/1tfjLn9 First published October 14, 2014 (Booklist Online).

 

Source: http://iz4.me/InformzDataService/OnlineVer...

@home Premieres to Packed House in Chicago

We are grateful for the people who came out to the June 9th premiere of @home at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago — what a place to have a premiere! There was not an open seat in the house, and we were overwhelmed by the kind, thoughtful, and constructive feedback we received after the lights came up.

As one audience member tweeted after the premiere, “Teary-eyed and sniffly after seeing the @home_campaign documentary. Thanks @hardlynormal for sharing your experiences.” Another wrote, “Just saw @home_campaign premiere. Any1 working in homelessness should see it - will renew passion for your work. Kudos @hardlynormal!”


After the screening, we hosted panel discussion and Q&A with Mark Horvath, director Susanne Suffredin, Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness CEO Nonie Brennan, and our Executive Director and co-producer Danny Alpert. The panelists were greeted with a standing ovation as they walked onto the stage, and proceeded to discuss the film and answer questions from the audience. 

We are proud to put this project into the world, and we are grateful for the interest and support we have received from our supporters and friends. We hope you will continue to support our campaign — we’ll be in touch soon with more ways to get involved.

@home in Seattle with Hack to End Homelessness

The fight to end homelessness reached a high note in Seattle in early May with the first-ever Hack to End Homelessness — and we were honored to be a part of it. Nearly 100 developers, designers, and nonprofit providers and advocacy organizers gathered for the four-day event to build innovative technology solutions aimed at ending homelessness in Seattle.

The event began on Thursday, May 1 with the ArtWalk — a new photo exhibit on #homelessness running through the end of May. The photo exhibit featured incredible work from photojournalist Dan Lamont’s Family Homelessness in Washington series, Rex Hohlbein of Homeless in Seattle, and young photographers from the University District Youth Center.

The Seattle premiere of @home successfully kicked off Day 2 of the event. The film was screened to a packed and enthusiastic house. A lively panel discussion followed the film, with director Susanne, Mark Horvath, and Mark Putnam, director of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County, discussing homelessness in our communities and different tools we can use to get people off of the streets and into housing. It was great to be able to bring @home to Seattle and to a group of such talented, socially conscious entrepreneurs.

The culmination of the event was Sunday evening, when 12 teams pitched a variety of ideas to help those living on the streets of Seattle. The projects ranged from a social network for homeless people to a detailed map that visualizes homelessness for 25 major metropolitan areas in the US. You can view some of the completed projects at http://www.hacktoendhomelessness.com/projects/.

Over the past decade, Seattle has certainly made an effort to house its homeless men and women, but there are still more than 2,300 people in Seattle sleeping on the streets — up 16 percent from 2013 — and city data shows nearly 10,000 households checking into shelters or transitional housing last year. Rising rent prices have exacerbated homelessness in the area, a problem that many attribute to Seattle’s growing tech sector. By encouraging entrepreneurs to develop a deeper understanding of the homelessness issue, the event organizers hope to reduce tension between the housing community and tech workers.

We are so thankful to have been a part of this exciting inaugural event and to help in deepening the conversation on homelessness in the U.S.

Screening Recap: UVA Human Rights Film Festival

This past weekend, I loved being on the beautiful University of Virginia campus for a screening of @home, part of their 8th Annual Human Rights Film Festival. I'm so grateful to Annie Crabill and Jeremy Klitzman for bringing me in to speak after the film.

I walked through the historic downtown mall of Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday morning expecting a very quiet experience. But to my surprise, it was crowded with runners. It turns out that the city was sponsoring a marathon and the end of the race was at the end of the mall. Still sleepy and not expecting such a crowd, I walked the mall, clearly out of place in my Chicago winter garb among all these runners in their shorts and sleeveless running shirts. I also started to notice a few others at the mall who like me were not runners and not a part of this group. It was three or four men, sitting alone off to the side with backpacks and more clothes than necessary for the day who I could only speculate were homeless. I also saw a teen standing in the middle of this crowd of runners with a sign that said, "I need your help." I'm not sure anyone saw him, runners and families with small children were strolling the mall but no one acknowledged him. I was struck by the fact that about a 1000 feet from him were stalls filled with food and drink for all the runners finishing the race. I don't stand in judgment here because I too after smiling at him walked by.

I told myself I'd check back after I found some coffee and finished walking around the downtown area. Of course when I went back he was gone. I thought about what Dr. Jim, a street physician we follow in the film, says about needing to get out of where we're at and go to where someone else is at ... it's not always easy to do. We can easily come up with reasons why it isn't the right time or think “I'll come back later” but sometimes that doesn't help. It was a lesson that I'm sure I will learn again and again.

We had a nice little crowd for the screening and everyone stayed after to discuss ideas around criminalization of homelessness, how it is happening in their very community, and what they can do about it. Attendees posed some questions that really got me thinking differently about this issue — like how rapid rehousing and long-term housing can complement each other.

We also talked about how to use the film to get college students more engaged with the issue. The film was partnered with the local Habitat For Humanity as part of the screening. They also served Bodo's Bagels before the screening, the best in town according to everyone there!

We’re thankful to have been a part of this engaging event, and are excited for more campus screenings to come.

- Susanne Suffredin

 

A note from @home Director Susanne Suffredin

On Tuesday, March 4th, @home screened at the Hollywood ArcLight theater for a sold-out crowd, to raise money for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Home for Good L.A. Mark Horvath and the film’s Director Susanne Suffredin were both there to answer questions about the project and share their experiences. Here’s what Susanne had to say about the evening:

What a tremendous evening Tuesday night was! It was wonderful to see @home screened at the beautiful ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd. The film looked and sounded beautiful on the big screen and the support for the film’s message was overwhelming. After the film, there was a wonderful panel discussion, including Mark Horvath, United Way supporter and volunteer Marti McFall, and Home for Good Business Leaders Task Force Co-Chair Jerry Neuman. The panel discussion stressed the importance of concrete actions to end homelessness and the importance of working together with government, churches, and business leaders to end this crisis. My thanks to United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Home for Good, Christine Marge, and Emily Bradley for their amazing work, and for organizing such a wonderful event. A beautiful night for a great cause — Susanne

Interested in setting up a screening in your community? Just send us an email — info@kindlinggroup.org.