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March 2, 2015

In the PBS/Independent Lens documentary THE HOMESTRETCH, three homeless Chicago teens fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. In collaboration with Philadelphia’s PBS station WHYY-TV, a free-to-the-public screening of the film will take place on March 10 at 7:00pm in the URBN Annex Screening Room (3401 Filbert Street). The three smart and ambitious young people at the center of the film—Roque, Kasey, and Anthony —will surprise, inspire, and challenge the audience to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at early ages. While told through personal perspectives, their stories connect with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care and LGBTQ rights.

With unprecedented access into Chicago public schools, The Night Ministry “Crib” emergency youth shelter, and Teen Living Programs’ Belfort House, THE HOMESTRECH follows the teens as they move through high school while navigating a landscape of couch-hopping, emergency shelters, transitional homes, street families, and a school system on the front lines of the homelessness crisis. The film examines the difficulties these and so many other youths face in obtaining a high school level education, then follows them beyond graduation to focus on the crucial transition when the structure of school vanishes and homeless youth often struggle to find the community they need to survive and be independent.

Click here to register for the free screening, which is part of ITVS Community Cinema, a national civic engagement and education initiative that features monthly screenings of films from PBS’s Emmy Award-winning series, Independent Lens. The goal for the initiative is to bring together community members to learn, discuss, and engage with key social issues of our time. Past ITVS Drexel screenings include A PATH APPEARS and AMERICAN DENIAL. For more information, please contact Professor Karin Kelly at