WKAR Community Cinema, presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Independent Lens, and WKAR, offered an advance screening of The Homestretch, a film by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly.
"Intrigued By The Evening"
"I enjoyed seeing the [film]," said Charlotte resident and WKAR member Valerie Kinsora.
The Homestretch follows three remarkable homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a more stable future. Each of these smart, resilient teenagers – Roque, Kasey, and Anthony – challenge stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while coping with the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age.
Lansing resident Stephanie Hirchert-Walton was also intrigued by the evening, sharing that she "…thought [the event] was very nice and really appreciate the panelists."
"Generating New Ideas"
After the full screening of the film, the panel discussed how the issues played out in the local community and how Child and Family Charities - Gateway Youth Services and Families Overcoming Rough Times are available in mid-Michigan to address the problem of homelessness for teens.
Panelist Jennifer L. McMahon director of Child and Family Charities - Gateway Youth Services was excited for the evening and shared that it was a "...great opportunity to educate the community about [a] very important issue."
Also sitting on the panel was Rose Taphouse of Families Overcoming Rough Times, a program of the Lansing School District, who explained how the event "…was a good way to get [information about homelessness] out to the public and getting people thinking about it, talking about it, and generating some new ideas."
Lansing resident Micaela Balzer, who may have been tired from a days work, said she couldn’t miss the event and "…thought it was informative [and] thought provoking."
"I thought it was an incredible event!" said first time attendee and Lansing resident Katie Wittenaubr. "I think [events such as tonight] are crucial in spurring conversation in the community."
The community now has the chance to watch The Homestretch on the WKAR Video Portal at video.wkar.org.