In many ways, homelessness is a very visible issue. Especially for those who regularly walk the streets of cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York City, homelessness cannot be ignored. Yet, one of the greatest obstacles to solving homelessness is generating interest. The vast and multi-faceted nature of homelessness discourages many from pursuing solutions. It seems unsolvable.
Documentaries won’t fix this alone, but they are a great tool for raising awareness and persuading viewers to act.
Reason Magazine, a libertarian publication, released a half-hour documentary this summer on the dire homelessness situation in Los Angeles. It is a compelling presentation, highlighting the failure of the Los Angeles government to provide practical solutions and featuring those who are daily working to provide housing and other services to the homeless.
It should be noted that housing is not the only solution needed as we wrestle with the issue of homelessness. The above documentary is a good overview of the problem of government incompetence and fiscal waste. Too often, state bureaucracy stands in the way of solutions. But the problems of mental illness and drug addiction are only mentioned briefly, problems that contribute greatly to the suffering of the homeless and must be addressed in conjunction with housing in order to provide a truly humane solution.