The perplexing issue of homelessness is a subject that is near and dear to me. It pains me to see a fellow human being in such despair. I am utterly confused how this can happen on such a grand scale in the richest country on the planet. How can this be? How can we let this continue? I realize that there will always be a certain level of homeless people, but it is embarrassing and bewildering that we have so many on the streets of our cities and towns across this great country.
It is imperative that we find some solutions that work to heal this festering wound. Homeless shelters and food kitchens serve a purpose, but only in an ephemeral way. We need to employ some fresh ideas to tackle this problem, and I believe that Community First! Village is one that is showing real signs of lasting success.
I was first introduced to Alan Graham, CEO of Moblie Loaves & Fishes back in 2004 when I was shooting Art From the Streets, a documentary about an art program for homeless people. We happened to be traveling in the same “neighborhoods”. I was impressed with their mission of venturing out into the streets distributing food and hope. Then I heard about their efforts to provide RV’s to some of our homeless brothers and sisters. Before I knew it, Community First! Village was a fully developed plan. What a perfect subject for a documentary! After meeting with Alan and Thomas Aitchison (Communications Director at ML&F), I was ecstatic and honored that they gave me the green-light to proceed. They have been extremely accomodating by granting me open access to the Village and allowing the independence to chronicle this story. I'm honored to share such an amazing, transformative effort at restoring dignity and self-worth among some of our most vulnerable neighbors.