BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY: A new documentary, "A Place of Their Own," sheds new light on the nearly 14,000 homeless residents of New Jersey and how some counties are delivering services while Ocean County in particular, does not have a shelter at all.
With Julie Orlando, director of Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services, Bergen County's recent recognition by the White House in July for its efforts to reduce homelessness, the film reviews Ocean County's lack of a shelter and how leaders can model some of the programs being implemented further north.
"Lakewood has outlawed homelessness," said Minister Steve Brigham, founder of the recently closed Tent City Encampment in Lakewood, Ocean County, New Jersey.
Homeless advocate and Counselor, Candida Wiltshire and Filmographer, LeMar Charles, both residents of New Jersey produced, "A Place of Their Own," a 29-minute documentary that examines homelessness in Ocean County and explores the use of micro-housing and a One Stop Model shelter to alleviate chronic homelessness.
"The goal of this film has always been to bring about discussion on the various causes of homelessness and possible ways to address it," said Wiltshire.
Charles, who filmed and is editing the piece, said he is disturbed by magnitude of the issues facing homelessness throughout the country.
"Tent cities are rapidly growing and are the results of systemic problems. Homeless shelters are on the front line of providing access to services. If there is a tent camp and no homeless shelter, something is really wrong," he said.
Producers are scheduled to create a Kickstarter campaign beginning September 15, 2014 to raise funds necessary to market the film and raise awareness of inventive programs that can alleviate homelessness.
Screeners of the film for donors and press are available as well as screenings conducted at various locations throughout the country. Wiltshire and Charles are available for interviews as well as panel discussions regarding the film's subject material.