Sam, a homeless man who had lived in his makeshift home of several years before the police destroyed it, had one request: “Can I Watch?”
A visibly shaken Sam became teary-eyed as the police tore down his shelter, and the video of it is being used to promote a new documentary shedding light on the current realities of being homeless in the United States, according to the Huffington Post:
“Destiny’s Bridge,” a project sponsored by nonprofit Fractured Atlas and produced by filmmaker Jack Ballo, focuses on homeless minister Steve Brigham, who lives in the woods of New Jersey among dozens of others in similar circumstances. According to a fundraising page for the film, Brigham dedicates his time addressing the emotional needs of other homeless people, as he believes it’s the first step in assimilating them back into society.
As Ballo points out on the fundraising campaign video for “Destiny’s Bridge,” the documentary also focuses on two major concepts: Getting to the core of why homelessness exists in the hope of finding successful solutions, and changing U.S. laws to make it legal for poor Americans to build small, inexpensive and eco-friendly houses they can afford on minimum wage.
“There are tent cities all over the country, and they’re not going away,” Ballo says of the makeshift communities built outdoors and comprised of homeless people in predominantly urban and suburban areas. “We need to come up with new ideas to manage the homeless crisis and find solutions, instead of having people suffer needlessly while we’re wasting taxpayers’ money.”
A CNN report from May highlighted that the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is witnessing the rise of tent cities, and estimates the current amount at over 100 tent cities in the United States.
Ballo’s approach to curbing homelessness with small homes isn’t an unusual concept; in fact, it’s got a proven track record in cities in Wisconsin, New York, and Texas, according to the Huffington Post:
“We can check on our flowers and we can now try to live a normal life,” Betty Ybarra of Madison, Wisconsin, told Reuters earlier this year of her new 99-square-foot home.
Production for “Destiny’s Bridge” has been completed and the film has been shown at community screenings, but Ballo created an IndieGoGo fundraising page to pay for music licensing costs — the final step before the film can be distributed to a larger audience. Ballo said in the campaign fundraising video that all additional funding after the $38,000 goal is met would go toward efforts to provide small-scale homes for the homeless throughout the country.
Giving the homeless people homes. Who would’ve thought that could possibly work?
You can watch the video below, but be warned: it’s powerful.