FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2015) – The public awareness initiative, ReThink: Why Housing Matters, and four-time Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Jewel recently unveiled a new documentary, “Our Journey Home,” to narrow the gap between misperceptions and the real stories of people living in public housing.
Produced by Emmy Award-winning film company, Stillmotion, the documentary examines the role we all play in supporting those who struggle in having a stable place from where they can grow and dream.
“Our Journey Home” follows the stories of three families and examines how their relationship to home has shaped them as they strive to support their families, further their education and careers, and give back to their communities. “Our Journey Home” debuted in October in New York City and will begin a tour across the country following the premiere.
The 54-minute video can be seen online at http://www.rethinkhousing.org/our-journey-home.
“This documentary has a message for everyone, and I really hope people go online to watch it and come away with a better understanding of the residents who live in public housing and how it affects their lives,” said Marcus D. Goodson, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers. “While the families and individuals filmed in ‘Our Journey Home’ were from Colorado and California, we have similar stories right here in Fort Myers. I’m so thankful to ReThink, Jewel and Stillmotion for bringing these stories to life.”
Once homeless, Jewel knows firsthand the importance of having a home and the impact it can have on a better future.
“The inspiring families and individuals chronicled in this documentary speak to the feelings of hope and the dreams that a home can help enable,” said ReThink Ambassador and documentary narrator Jewel. “I hope this film causes people to stop and rethink the positive impact that public housing can have in helping families across the country.”
“Through these stories, we hope to bring to light the misperceptions many of us carry about public housing,” added Stillmotion Director and Executive Producer Patrick Moreau.
Public housing provides homes and services for approximately 2.1 million people in the U.S.; however, the need is much greater than that. At least half a million people across the U.S. are waiting for public housing to become available. During a time when poverty has increased by 23.6 percent, there has been only a 2.7 percent increase in the supply of assisted housing units, making the need for public housing support even greater.
“Americans believe that U.S. citizens deserve a safe and stable place to live, but many do not support public housing,” added Goodson. “Public housing provides a home for millions of families, veterans, disabled and elderly citizens, and gives them a chance to get back on their feet.”
ReThink: Why Housing Matters is a national awareness initiative that encourages Americans to realize the benefits that public housing offers individuals, families and the greater community.
Get involved and learn more on Facebook at Facebook.com/ReThinkHousing, Twitter at @ReThinkTweets, and YouTube at YouTube.com/ReThinkHousing.
ReThink: Why Housing Matters communicates the mission and purpose of public housing – to provide housing and services to millions of Americans who might otherwise be homeless. Since 2013, the national awareness initiative has highlighted the misperceptions that Americans have about public housing through stories of the individuals, families, and communities who benefit from all that public housing has to offer. Award-winning singer and songwriter, Jewel, has been the national ReThink Ambassador since the initiative’s launch in 2013. ReThink was developed by Housing Authority Insurance, Inc. (HAI, Inc.) with the support of its trade partners in the public housing industry. HAI, Inc. is a part of HAI Group, a family of companies that serves the public and affordable housing community with special, niche insurance programs as well as other value-added products and services such as training and software solutions.
Spending the past several years alternating between penning her memoir, Never Broken, and recording a pair of children’s albums, Jewel is set to return with her first proper album of new music since 2010’s “Sweet and Wild.” “Picking Up the Pieces,” which serves as a “bookend” to the Alaskan-born singer’s landmark, multi-platinum-selling debut, 1995’s “Pieces of You,” is some of Jewel’s most striking work yet: front and center is the iconic singer-songwriter’s world-renowned vocals, laser-sharp song craft and intricate guitar work. “It was time in my life to do this,” Jewel, who Rolling Stone calls “one of the most richly idiomatic pop singers of her generation,” explains of the 14-track LP, recorded in Nashville with seasoned musicians, and featuring road-tested fan favorites (“Carnivore,” “Boy Needs a Bike”) alongside groundbreaking new tracks (“Love Used To Be”) and a stunning collaboration with country legend Dolly Parton (“My Father’s Daughter”). Says Jewel: “I wanted the album to be purely an extension of my soul.”
About the HACFM
The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers serves more than 3,500 low-income families as catalyst for increasing access to safe, stable and sustainable housing and to help develop, preserve and revitalize communities through affordable rental housing. The agency is dedicated to empowering families with the means to become as self-sufficient as possible through its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) and HOPE VI Community Supportive Services (CSS) programs, encouraging and facilitating movement toward financial independence beyond the need for HACFM services. The HACFM also aims to instill pride and a desire for an enhanced quality of life for families and serves the greater Fort Myers community in a manner that demonstrates professional courtesy, respect and caring, while recognizing the needs and limitations of the mentally and physically disabled, aged and infirmed. For more information, call 239-344-3220 or visit www.hacfm.org.