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Friday, October 5 • 6:15pm - 7:15pm

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Produced by Kartemquin Films and Spargel Productions


On the first day of school each year, Chicago Public School administrators and teachers struggle to identify the growing number of students who are homeless and without adult support. This is the first critical step in providing homeless kids with what they need to stay in school and get to graduation. Last year, a record 15,580 students in Chicago Public Schools were known to be homeless. The population of homeless children and youth is growing at staggering rates all across America. Statistics from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) state that the number of homeless students identified in public schools has increased by 41% over the past two years alone, to roughly 1.6 million nationwide. Schools across the country are struggling to cope with the needs of more and more young people who have no homes or adult support. These kids turn to school for food, a warm place, and some sense of structure. In Chicago, the problem has become so pervasive in recent years that each school is now required by law to have a Homeless Coordinator. The list they create is a constantly shifting document, and far from complete. Many young people, especially teens, do not want to be identified, do not want to be in the system, and do not ask for help. Like most kids, in this adolescent time of their lives, they just want to be normal.

The Homestretch (working title) focuses on a number of these adolescents as they navigate the treacherous journey into adulthood. The film will be a haunting depiction of the intimate, often unexpected details of what it means to be young, homeless and trying to build your future in America today. Using the youth as guides, the viewer is invited inside the day-to-day lives of young people in Chicago searching for a warm place to sleep, a quiet place to study, the privacy to shower, any way to feel normal under the most abnormal circumstances. The Homestretch focuses on the adolescent years, a crucial time in any young person’s life when they are going through the final years of school and learning the life skills necessary to become successful adults.



Before dedicating herself to documentary film, Anne was an award-winning playwright, producer and director. Her original plays have been presented in Chicago, London and New York, where she was a five-year resident artist with Richard Foreman’s legendary

Beth Cuningham

Youth attorney Elizabeth (Beth) Cunningham joined the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless staff in October 2007. A 2005 graduate of University of Denver Law School, she worked 18 months as a Guardian ad litem for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, w

Kirsten Kelly

Kirsten Kelly 
Alongside of her film work, Kirsten is an award- winning theatre director and educator. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Roots&Branches Theatre, a company that works with senior citizens and builds bridges between generations, and

Friday October 5, 2012 6:15pm - 7:15pm CDT
Showplace Icon Theater 150 West Roosevelt Road. Chicago, IL.

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