An inspiring, award-winning documentary that tells the life stories of four young adults, all of whom were homeless as teenagers in Seattle Washington. It takes a revealing look at their families, their day to-day lives, their possible fates, and follows them as they strive for a hopeful, prosperous future. It is a film about homelessness, family dysfunction, and the perseverance and resilience of the human spirit.
“Invisible Young belongs in every college Social Problems class and should be reviewed and studied by social workers and policy authorities. It is a remarkable real life film deserving wide attention.”
– Peter Phillips Ph.D. Professor of Sociology, Sonoma State University
“I work with teenagers addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and your documentary was very powerful. Thank you for all the time you put into making this documentary. Once it gets out to the public, it will be life changing. You have made a huge difference in more lives than you ever know by putting this together. Thank you for allowing this to be shared with us at Counselor Camp this last weekend.”
Rachel was a sweet girl who liked animals and had a passion for art. But after revealing to her parents that she had been molested by her grandfather, Rachel was told to leave home by her parents. She was 13 years old. Rachel lived on the streets for the next five years, saw close friends die, and lived in a violent and horrific underworld.
Michael was five years old when he was placed in foster care. Over the next 11 years, Michael would see dozens of foster placements. Several times he ran away – life on the streets was more to his liking. Upon turning 18 Michael was shown the door from his last placement, and spent the next four years addicted to drugs and homeless in Seattle, living a life of crime.
Jaclyn grew up with a mother who was a perfect candidate for the TV show “Hoarders.” Jaclyn describes her father as a violent, abusive, alcoholic drug addict. So at 13 when a friend took her to meet some homeless kids living under a bridge in town, Jaclyn knew she had found a new life, one that was better than living at home. She would spend the next eight years on the streets.
Jackson had a more traditional home life. But exposure to drugs in his early teen years and difficult relations with his parents resulted in Jackson choosing homelessness in his late teens. After several years hopping trains and sleeping under bridges, a near brush with death forced him to reassess his situation.
Invisible Young intertwines the compelling stories of these characters, commentary and insights from the adults and case workers who helped them find stability, as well as commentary from area experts who work with homeless youth. The film follows the four as they talk about their families, the turmoil and dispare of life on the streets, the help they received, and their attempts to transition to a more stable life.
The gripping interviews in Invisible Young are complemented with poignant scenes of current street youth. Musical performances by several street youth provide a rich score for the film.
Run time: 56 Minutes
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Higher Education DVD + PPR, Higher Education DVD + PPR + Streaming License, K-12 and Nonprofit Groups DVD + PPR