Homestretch Screenings 4/26 & 29: Plus Local Teens and Mentors Talk about How They Manage being Homeless in High School

An “authentic, no-frills portrayal of what it means to be young and homeless in America.” Terrance F. Ross, The Atlantic.

On April 26 and 29, ADFS will present the award-winning documentary film, The Homestretch. Following the film, local youth who have experienced homelessness will join local administrators to talk about how youth here in the East Bay deal with homelessness in high school. Among the panelists is Darius Aikens, the eldest of 5 children. His father died when he was 9; his mother suffers from bipolar disease. Despite these obstacles, he has stayed in high school and hopes to study politics at UC Berkeley.

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The film follows three homeless teens – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Roque was separated from his family due to immigration issues and was sometimes forced to fend for himself, beginning in his sophomore year of high school. Anthony spent his childhood in foster homes and went out on his own at the age of 14. 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.   see trailer: http://www.homestretchdoc.com/trailer/

Although the film is set in Chicago, homeless youth here in the Bay Area face precisely the same challenges. In 2014, the Bay Area had over 20,000 homeless students. (KCBS Cover Story Series: Our Homeless School Kids, Dec. 15, 2014). Berkeley alone currently has over 300 homeless high school students.

This film connects us deeply with issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights. The discussion will help us understand what is being done, and what can be done to help these youth. “In the end, Homestretch is the story of a broken system, not broken people. After watching, one can’t help but wonder if a small tweak in policy could make a world of difference for thousands of youth.”  Matt Pollock, Chicago Magazine.

 2 FREE Screenings

In Piedmont: Wednesday, April 26
Ellen Driscoll Playhouse 325 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611

6:30 PM Free reception | 7 – 8:30 PM screening followed by discussion

In Oakland: Saturday, April 29*
The New Parkway, 474 24th Street (near Telegraph), Oakland, CA 94612

3:00 pm* Check thenewparkway.com to confirm date/time of Oakland screening (may conflict with Warriors’ playoff broadcast there).

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