'The Homestretch' Was Thought Provoking

Apr 14, 2015

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.

(l-r) Jennifer L. McMahon and Rose Taphouse
Credit Amanda Pinckney / MSU/WKAR

"Intrigued By The Evening"

"I enjoyed seeing the [film]," said Charlotte resident and WKAR member Valerie Kinsora.

Charlotte resident and WKAR member Valerie Kinsora
Credit Amanda Pinckney / MSU/WKAR

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"

(l-r) Lansing residents Hedlun Walton and Stephanie Hirchert-Walton
Credit Amanda Pinckney / MSU/WKAR

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."

(l-r) Lansing residents Micaela Balzer, Katie Wittenaubr, Lisa Biggs, and Katie Watkins
Credit Amanda Pinckney / MSU/WKAR

"Spurring Conversation"

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.