Homelessness in San Diego, Houston, Lane County has similar faces. Tony the Movie is a must watch. by Pat Farr

 

On June 6 2019 I joined an audience of perhaps a hundred at the Bijou Arts Cinemas to watch a screening of “Tony the Movie” at the invitation of Reverend Wayne Martin.

Tony the Movie inspires watchers to take action

The movie follows Tony Rodriguez, a homeless man in San Diego, through days and weeks of his life.  He accompanies a news reporter to other cities to see first-hand how chronic homelessness has been addressed in those communities.

As the movie progresses, watchers are shown examples of how regional action committees have been established to provide effective housing to transform homeless support systems.  “Housing First”, Permanent Supportive Housing, has proven effective across the nation to efficiently and humanely end the cycle of homelessness for people with behavioral health conditions.  Lane County’s Poverty and Homelessness Board is such a “committee.”

The audience included housed people who are excited about finding solutions in Lane County as well as people who are living on the streets.

Wayne Martin asked for impressions after the movie and heard a number of quotes, including these:

“I get off work at 2 in the morning and then I need to find a place to sleep.  The stress builds up inside me, and all the money I earn is used to just survive…”

“I have a home now.  A lot has been going on here in the last 12 months…”

While the movie elicits deep emotion as you watch Tony trying “to live in society” while working, storing his belongings daily and being moved along regularly, it also gives a ray of hope and anticipation of how Lane County and its cities are pro-actively working together to help men and women and families “live in society.”

You can watch the movie here.  

 

The recently concluded “TAC Report”–a shelter feasibility study–has given birth to an action plan that will include strategies with short- and long-term tactics to “Transform our Homeless Support System.”

If you are interested in seeing, hearing and reading more please contact me via my public email at pat.farr@co.lane.or.us , please reference “Tony.”  I will give links and lists of how plans are being laid to make an immediate difference and tie future solutions to existing efforts.

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