The problems surrounding it are complex, but the basic equation is simple: When economic hardship occurs in a place where the cost of living is rising and affordable housing is scarce, people find themselves without a home. When cities provide fewer shelter beds than people without a home, people end up on the street.
ABOUT SHELTERED MERCY
Sheltered Mercy is a film about the deficiencies in our political and social systems, using the stories of the homeless as conduits to reveal these deficiencies. The film will follow specific homeless individuals over a period of time, showing an intimate and honest portrayal of the people who have fallen the furthest and have the least.
LET'S DECONSTRUCT THE PROBLEM!
When Mental ILLNESS IS RAMPANT,
and inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment is scarce-to-non-existent for people who cannot afford to pay expensive premiums, people remain sick. Mentally ill people with no money or treatment have nowhere to call home.
When Mental HEALTH SUPPORT SERVICES
are not widely available and affordable for the all-too-many victims of abuse and discrimination that live among us, people remain emotionally fractured and compromised. It is hard to recover from a history of trauma and abuse. Some of these people can’t. Some of these people are homeless.
is often understood as a repercussion of personal mistakes and weakness of character, but the causes of homelessness are multifaceted and complex. From start to finish, Sheltered Mercy will drive home the point that every homeless person has a different story, and that the visible circumstances of the homeless often make sense when you learn that story. The film will feature a variety of homeless characters; families living in cars, full-time college students, women who have escaped domestic violence, LGBTQ+ teens and young adults fleeing oppression and prejudice, victims of Sacramento’s rampant human trafficking industry, and people with untreated mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction.
is centered in the Sacramento, the capital of the richest state in the US, and will give life to dozens of unique homeless voices and simultaneously provide clinical analysis of their conditions, explaining the factors that contribute to their realities and the barriers these individuals face at both personal and systemic levels.
When Drug and Alcohol dependEnce
WHEN IT CAN TAKE WEEKS
is a debilitating disease that causes people to lose jobs and families, some of these people end up homeless. When drug and alcohol use is a survival strategy and a coping mechanism for people after they become homeless, issues of substance dependence develop.
to get into city and county subsidized inpatient treatment programs for substance dependence, and the cost of private treatment is far outside the reach of affordability, people do not get treatment. When substance-dependent people go untreated, they remain stuck and sometimes are homeless.
HOMELESSNESS AFFECTS EVERYBODY.
Sacramento County spends $40 million per year on the homeless issue. City, state and federal governments pay millions to billions of dollars a year in the form of general assistance and disability payments to the financially needy, and yet the amount given to each individual is not enough to put that person over the federal poverty line. The end result: a lot of taxpayer-funded money is spent, but people remain poor and stuck in conditions of illness and deprivation. Sheltered Mercy will expose the economic impact of homelessness. Sadly, empathy for the homeless is not enough to solve this problem. The common denominator for the movement to end homelessness is economic incentive.