Hope on the Street has received the following accolades:
- Outstanding Media Award for Television Documentary, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
- Media Award for Local Television News, Educational or Public Service Programming, National Mental Health Association
- Community Service Award, Alameda County Mental Health Board
- Commendation, San Francisco Mental Health Board
- Northern California Emmy Nomination for Best Documentary
are people we often ignore and avoid. They wander the streets,
take shelter under bridges and sleep in parks. What is it like
to be mentally ill and homeless on the streets of San Francisco?
What about family members who are desperately trying to reconnect
with their loved ones? According to the California Department
of Mental Health, an estimated 50,000 mentally ill people in
California sleep on the street each night, and thousands more
go to jail or are hospitalized. The city of San Francisco estimates
that 70 percent of its homeless residents are mentally ill or
substance abusers -- or both.
on the Street looks at the lives of people who have spent
time on the streets while living with their mental illness.
The one-hour documentary focuses on hope and recovery as it
looks beneath the tattered clothes, the dirt, the grime to
reveal individuals who have an illness and who deserve respect,
patience and understanding.
Hope on the Street will air nationally on many public
television stations beginning in April and May 2003 (check
local listings). The program looks at mental illness and
homelessness through five heart-wrenching personal stories
of people who are in need of help and of people who are on
their way to recovery. The stories also bring in family members
as well as local outreach workers who are helping this underserved
and often-overlooked segment of our population
During this compelling hour, we meet
Sandra, whose family in Mississippi
has been trying to find her for more than 15 years. As the
family dreams of the awaited reunion, Sandra has a setback
in her recovery and now denies she left a family behind.
Richard, also known as Circle Man because of his
tendency to walk around in circles on the same block in
San Francisco. Richard is an elderly veteran and former
chemist who has the financial means and family support to
leave the streets, but has been cycling in and out of homelessness,
hospitals and jails for more than 20 years.
Ray, who describes his as a story against
all odds. He survived an abusive childhood and a homeless
adolescence in which the only life he knew was gang life.
In addition, he constantly struggles with a bipolar disorder.
Ray overcame his illness with the support of his family
and proper treatment and is now an outreach worker and speaker
at mental health conferences across the country.
J.J., who suffers from schizophrenia
and was homeless for five years. His is a touching story
of the importance of treatment and friendship. A man, who
is now not only his boss but also his best friend, helped
J.J. gain a new lease on life simply by taking a chance
on the Street offers proof that if society helps the mentally
ill and homeless gain access to quality services, many of
them will seize the opportunity to live productive and healthy