Film "@home" makes homelessness visible

Documentary film "@home" explores the causes and complexities of homelessness

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By Oak Park Public Library

By Lynda Schueler, Executive Director, West Suburban PADS

"@home" is a feature-length documentary that began as a film following the work of e-activist Mark Horvath. The film is a journey to the invisible communities of people living without permanent housing.

Horvath has experienced the highs and lows of the American dream, from a successful career in television to barely surviving, homeless and addicted, on Hollywood Boulevard. But he found his voice again when he hit the streets, armed with a digital camera and a smartphone, to talk to homeless people about their own experiences. Today he's the online voice of his cause, and he's bringing these people's stories to millions on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. 

The "@home" documentary follows him on a road trip across the country, from Los Angeles to Arkansas to Pittsburgh, as he makes homelessness in America visible.

We're grateful for the opportunity to engage the Oak Park community in a conversation about the causes and solutions of homelessness. Since 1992 West Suburban PADS has served more than 10,000 people experiencing a housing crisis in west Cook County. 

Every year we're the safety net for 500 people who have nowhere else to turn for temporary safe shelter while they resolve the income, health, and housing challenges that caused their homelessness. 

Every year we engage with 100 people living on the streets, moving their focus from daily survival to resolution of long-term needs. Another 200 people rely on us for service-supported housing, working with our case managers to regain stability and self-sufficiency. And every year, 300 people do not become homeless, do not enter our shelter system, because our Prevention staff links them to community resources that mitigate their crises before it's too late.

Horvath says, "The number one thing we want people to know about homelessness is that we can solve it." 

Please join us Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 pm at the Main Library, 834 Lake St., Oak Park, to watch the film and learn more about ways you can get involved.

Oak Park Public Library hosts this film screening and welcomes "@home" director Susanne Suffredin, who will join Schueler in the discussion that follows. Join them and other community members for a conversation about how homelessness appears in the Oak Park area and what PADS is doing to address the issues of homeless people. For more information go to

Email: Twitter: @OakParkLibrary

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