Community First, A Home for the Homeless

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    Community First, A Home for the Homeless

    Directed by

    USA

    2019

    65 min

    • English

    Documentary

    COMMUNITY FIRST, A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS, is a documentary introducing an extraordinary new movement in Austin, TX, which is transforming the lives of homeless people through the power of community. As explained by the founder Alan Graham, “It is specifically designed to lift the chronically homeless off the streets of the Austin area offering them a place to call home, helping them to heal from the ravages of life on the streets allowing them to rediscover a purpose in their lives.” You’ll hear about the heartbreaking events that cause homelessness, and the heartwarming stories of being welcomed into a nurturing environment where dignity and self-worth are restored.

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Alan Graham
    Tricia Graham
    Staff and residents at Community First! Village
    Cinematography
    Layton Blaylock
    Editing
    Paul Patrin
    Music
    Martin Crane

    Director's Statement

    The perplexing issue of homelessness is a subject that is near and dear to me. It pains me to see a fellow human being in such despair. I am utterly confused how this can happen on such a grand scale in the richest country on the planet. How can this be? How can we let this continue? I realize that there will always be a certain level of homeless people, but it is embarrassing and bewildering that we have so many on the streets of our cities and towns across this great country.
    It is imperative that we find some solutions that work to heal this festering wound. Homeless shelters and food kitchens serve a purpose, but only in an ephemeral way. We need to employ some fresh ideas to tackle this problem, and I believe that Community First! Village is one that is showing real signs of lasting success.
    I was first introduced to Alan Graham, CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes back in 2004 when I was shooting ART FROM THE STREETS, a documentary about an art program for homeless people. We happened to be traveling in the same “neighborhoods”. I was impressed with their mission of venturing out into the streets distributing food, clothing, and hope. Then I heard about their efforts to provide RV’s to some of our homeless brothers and sisters around Austin. Before I knew it, Community First! Village was a fully developed plan. Alan originally called it an "RV park on steroids", which has turned out to be an understatement. There was no question in my mind that this was an ideal subject for a documentary. After meeting with Alan, I was ecstatic and honored that he gave me the green-light to proceed. They have granted us open access to the Village and given me complete independence to chronicle this story. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to make this documentary and to share with the world this amazing, transformative effort to restore dignity, hope, and self-worth to our most vulnerable neighbors.

    Production
    INFERNO FILMS

    Press

    Blaylock’s COMMUNITY FIRST, A HOME FOR THE HOMEMLESS should be required viewing for every single person who’s never looked a homeless man or woman in the eyes and never known the hurt contained within them.

    Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle

    A powerful, touching documentary that moved many of the audience members to tears.

    Sian Francis Cox, Flixist

    Layton Blaylock

    Layton Blaylock

    USA

    Layton Blaylock is an award-winning filmmaker, director, director of photography, and a founding partner in Inferno Films. He has worked on a wide range of productions including documentaries, feature films, TV shows, and informational films over his 40 year career. His feature documentary ART FROM THE STREETS was accepted at over 30 film festivals around the world, winning ten awards, including 5 for Best Documentary. ART FROM THE STREETS was another passion project about an art program for homeless people. The plight of the homeless is a subject near and dear to Layton’s heart, and he has found a subject with Community First! Village that he hopes can make a real impact on our cities and towns across the country by helping the homeless get off the streets and transform their lives. However, what COMMUNITY FIRST, A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS shows is that it takes more than just housing, it takes a community.