Documentary tells stories of Saskatoon’s homeless

Leader-Post, September 25 - A Chance to Speak gives a voice to those who are seldom heard.

Director Vernon Boldick describes the documentary as “a look into poverty in Saskatoon and (the) people who live in poverty, giving them a chance to tell their stories.”

Boldick started filming earlier this year in Saskatoon. The subjects of the film have lived on the streets, and includes those who have been through gangs, and those exploited by the sex trade.

“Often you find that they’re marginalized, and never are given a chance to really share why they have got to the place they are. Often they’re set apart from society, and often they’re looked down upon,” said Boldick.

“It’s a chance for them to say, ‘This is who I am.’”

Two point-in-time counts in Regina and Saskatoon looked at homeless populations in the cities. On May 13 the YMCA of Regina counted 232 homeless persons, 36 per cent were children. On June 22 in Saskatoon the Community-Univeristy Insititute for Social Research found close to 450 people, 10 per cent of whom were children.

Boldick said many youth they spoke to — some as young as 12 — were uncomfortable being in the documentary.

“Our aim here was to start a dialogue,” said Boldick, who started shooting the documentary with DT Productions soon after the count was published.

The documentary will be shown for free at Rainbow Cinemas Oct. 1 at 7:30. Two people featured in the documentary will be at the theatre to speak and take questions after the screening.

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