The men tell their stories on how they ended up in the streets and share their struggles to dig themselves out. Each man have different struggles and no one’s story is the same.
Along with the men on the street we meet some Milwaukee cops who are part of a new program called the Homeless Outreach Team. The team’s goal is to build relationships with the homeless and check on them to make sure they don’t need anything like warm blankets and food. Another aspect of chronic homelessness is the criminality of it. We meet the Judge Derek Mosley who sees a lot of the same men come through his court. With not much options he is forced either to fine them (a fee none of them can pay) or put them in jail. In fact during the winter some homeless people will turn themselves in just so they can stay someplace warm.
The movie does a good job at showing a balanced look at their subjects. While we feel sympathetic to the characters it is never glossed that drugs and bad decisions are the reason some of them are on the street. The most heartbreaking moments during the movie are when some of the men we have gotten to know die. It's par for the course when you live on the street but still shocking and really makes you feel their plight.
The movie doesn't offer any easy answers and that's because there are no easy answers. There has to be a systemic change to outreach and the judicial system to have a real impact. The movie also doesn't address women and families or other aspects of homelessness. After the movie there was a Q@A with the director, producer, and some of the subjects of the movie. They talked a little about how they wanted to focus only on the chronic homeless (which are mostly men) since it appears they are at the biggest disadvantage from the system.
Overall 5/5. The movie raises awareness for an important issue that most of don't give much thought about. It is also a call to action that makes you want to find out more info and how you can help. If that is true for you feel free to head over to their website. 30Secondsaway.com
We also got a chance to ask Faith some questions before the world premiere. Check that out here. 10 Questions with Faith Kohler.