Watch & Talk about Vince

Please CLICK HERE to answer these 4 questions when you have completed the 25 minute film. We will add your responses to the growing list below.

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The Night Ministry is a NFP organization that has a strong track record of helping folks on the street with their lauded Health Outreach Bus & Street Medicine program.

1. Do you see homeless people daily? How does it make you feel?

I see homeless people nearly every day. It makes me feel sad. I want to help but there are just so many people and so much need, it’s overwhelming.

Not everyday, but when I do, I feel like “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

Living in the city I see homeless people all the time, every single day. It’s difficult to see them and not look away or feel like a horrible person because I have what I have and there are people who clearly do not have that. It’s difficult to not feel like I should be offering to help or give what I have to even out the disparity.

I see homeless people when I go to downtown Chicago each week. It makes me feel very sad.

Not since I moved out of Chicago. It’s a mix bag of emotions.

On a regular basis when I’m commuting and traveling Chicago, yes.

Not daily but quite often. Feel bad for them

I am in a fairly rural area where I work, so only when I go in to Chicago do I see them. Sad, for them, unsure how many are running a scam.

I do see homeless people daily, it is really sad to see. I always try to give money when I can.

Yes. When I see that it is a reminder that there is so much more work to be done for justice, equity, and love in our society. And how I am a part of that work, and will remain dedicated to it.

Not daily, but often. My heart breaks every time.

I live in the suburbs, but come into the city often, so see people who are homeless anytime I come in. I know there are a few people who are homeless here, but they are pretty invisible.

I do. It is a reprehensible tragedy that we are forced to live with everyday because of gross government neglect.

Yes, especially walking and driving around Chicago. It makes me sad and angry for the situation that many people are forced to live in on a daily basis.

I don’t get out daily but when I do, yes. Sad

Not since moving out of the city. When I did see them, always thought “there for the grace of God go I.”

Seeing them makes me feel sad, and also guilty that I have so much more than them

Every day on my way to work and any time I went through a viaduct or neared an expressway.

No I don’t see them daily but when I do feel for them.

Yes, I feel bad for them and sometimes angry when I try to help but I always look them in the eyes when I speak to them.

Yes. Simultaneously selfish and fortunate

Not daily any more. When I lived in Chicago, yes. When I’ve been in downtown Cincinnati, yes. When I was in libraries in both Dayton, OH and Covington, OH, yes. I actually used to work at The Night Ministry and am still friends with current (and past) employees. 🙂

Living in the city I see homeless people all the time, every single day. It’s difficult to see them and not look away or feel like a horrible person because I have what I have and there are people who clearly do not have that. It’s difficult to not feel like I should be offering to help or give what I have to even out the disparity.

I used to when we could go out. I felt bad that I couldn’t help them all and wondered what led them to be homeless.

Often. Lucky and privileged.

It makes me see that if we stop caring about ourselves and start caring for the less fortunate. We can impact the world and make this world a better place.

No I don’t because I live in rural area

Yes, I guess that it scares me that it could easily be the life I ended up with. I’m sure at one time all of those people had/have families that care about them.

The movie was great!

Do not see homeless people dailyI do not see them daily – when I do, I look for constructive ways to help, without enabling. A hard challenge. Usually I do.

I live in New York, and over the last couple of years, the homeless population seems to have really jumped up. It’s sad to see so many people out on the streets. My wife is a teacher in the public school system, and she has many students who are homeless as well.

I cannot imagine what their life must be like, but I don’t know what I can do to help.

Yes, Dirty

2. Have you ever tried to connect with a homeless person? What did that look like?

Years ago, when I lived in Uptown, there was a burly but gentle man who stayed in a vacant lot off Broadway and Montrose (where the Target is now). I used to bring him coffee in the mornings. He would keep an eye out for me when I was coming home late at night. There were several other girls who would bring him things, who he would watch out for. Walking home at night, he would wave and say “hi” from his campsite, and it made me feel safe. That was the first time I tried to connect with a homeless person, and I lost touch with him after moving out of the neighborhood. Later on, at the community garden where I volunteer, I have met other homeless men. Some wanted help, like a frail elderly man for whom we were able to help find a safe squat before the weather turned cold. Others simply wanted to be left alone to live their lives, so we would try to respect that.

Yes, in NYC. He wanted to make it very clear, he was not a bum. We chatted quite awhile.

No.

Yes. I used to know a few of the homeless people who lived in my neighborhood. I used to talk with them and buy them food if they wanted. I learned some of their stories – most had mental health issues and no place to go for assistance.

I have purchased the Streetwise newspaper.

Yes, so many encounters. Some positive and some not so positive.

Yes, many times. I’ve given money and food leftovers when I had them to give. Some of the interactions haven’t been the most pleasant due to threatening or sexual comments made. One of the longest encounters I had was in the lobby of my old work building where a homeless man had been sleeping due to the cold. We talked for a good long while and I listened to his story. We then walked to a store with an ATM so I could give him cash for a room to stay in for the evening.

Have given them spare change on occasion or if I happen to have left overs from restaurant

No, helped someone who stated he was out of town and out of money, wanted some food. Took him to a nearby restaurant, and he got chicken wings to go?? Felt like he was trying to scam me.

Yes, I have. I was on the train and a homeless guy was asking people for anything and we watched him burst into tears. You really felt for him in that moment, when we got to my stop I asked if I could buy him something from McDonalds. We went and I bought him a meal and a ticket to ride the train again.

Yes. I created a documentary on homelessness in Chicago entitled “Live As The Majority” where I interviewed homeless people and more.

Yes, if they ask how I’m doing, etc. I always respond and ask them how they are doing as well.

I came into my daughter’s home by a different route one of the days it was well below zero, and saw a young man (20s or 30s) asking for donations at the intersection from the interstate. I gave him enough money to buy gloves and a hat and told him I was going to come back that way to make sure he had done so. I hope so much he did.

I have not. Although I am willing to be of service.

I’ve had the chance to connect with people experiencing homelessness through volunteering at The Night Ministry and at a food pantry in my neighborhood. In those situations, I’m typically providing food and other basic needs, but I do try to connect with those individuals on a personable level too. As you can see in the film, many homeless people are either ignored or their feelings may be entirely disregarded. Not only have I really enjoyed the conversations that I’ve had with individuals who are homeless, but by really listening to what they have to say, it’s also given me insight to the complexities of their situation and how difficult it can be for people to escape it.

No

Kind of. But it always seemed the lines of communication were incomplete, or broken.

I saw a man rooting through the trash, and I had a bag of homemade muffins with me. I asked him if he was hungry, and he said yes, and he ate the food right in front of me. It was a good feeling.

I did! Unfortunately only once. I’m a bit skeptical about approaching them, however.

Yes, I have – often. Encounters range from pleasant, to nonsensical to violent.

No

Yes. I spent about 20 minutes talking with a homeless guy who initially tried to scam me out of money. When I sensed he was not on the level, I bought him a coffee (this was in a Dunkins parking lot) and asked him his story. I ended up buying him lunch and giving him $20

Say hello. Eye contact. Listening. Sometimes with The Night Ministry. Sometimes not with them. Its about dignity and respect, acknowledgement of common humanity. Its on their terms, not mine.

Yes. I used to know a few of the homeless people who lived in my neighborhood. I used to talk with them and buy them food if they wanted. I learned some of their stories – most had mental health issues and no place to go for assistance.

Only briefly if I handed someone leftovers from a restaurant.

beyond giving food or change and saying bless you not really

Only in giving

Years ago I helped young girl whose mom was unable to find housing-all kinds of problems including addictionOnly in giving

I did, in Santa Monica California he called himself CP30 and he shared a little of his story.

No

NA

Many times they see me and ask for handouts. The manipulative ones know how to press favorable buttons. I have invited some to various programs.

I’ve had conversations with homeless people before, sure. Sometimes it goes better than others, but I’ve certainly had some interesting conversations.

Yes, after they broke into my car…twice. Thye looked nice in my suit jacket they took

3. Has there been a time in your life where you have been or considered the possibility of being homeless?

Yes. When I was 20, my roommate had some kind of breakdown and threatened my life, so I had to leave and sleep on various friends’ couches for a while. I wasn’t homeless – I had a room that I was paying rent on- but I was afraid to sleep there. I’d just pop into the apartment when the roommate was at work. A few months later, after I’d found a safe apartment, I met the burly but gentle man in the vacant lot.

No, but it’s been my fear for as long as I can remember.

Sure. There are several times when living paycheck to paycheck I have thought about what would happen if I didn’t have my job.

No.

No

No. But as a child, when it wasn’t something I’d have considered, we were very poor and most likely close to losing our home several times. But homelessness wasn’t on my radar then.

no

My husband and I were separated and I was living at a work colleague’s place, If not for her I might have been in th at position.

No

Yes. I was almost evicted in college; luckily I was not kicked on the street.

No, but I have had a family who was. I have some understanding of how hard it is for the individual and the family as well. This film is a great reflection of that.

I have been very fortunate my whole life, so no.

I have and I try to keep it from happening by having a positive goal-oriented mindset.

No. Although I have been in-between homes at some points in my adult life, this has always been by personal choice, and I am fortunate to have my family as a safety net should something unexpected happen with my work or living situation.

No

No.

No

No. Although we’ve been houseless, but not in the streets, I’ve never thought of being homeless.

No

Not really although it’s always in the back of my mind.

no

God yes.

I had a fear of that before and especially now…will I get enough work to pay my bills? have I saved enough for retirement? are questions that haunt me almost daily.

Sure. There are several times when living paycheck to paycheck I have thought about what would happen if I didn’t have my job.

yes

No

No

No

No and I’m blessed for that.

No – but I have clients who have been.

I have never been in that situation, no.

Nope

4.How did you relate to the short film, “Vince: The Punctual Vagrant”?

I’m still marinating on it. It was a little heartbreaking.

I thought it was interesting you put in the scene with the mother telling her daughter he needs to get a job. I remember being young and thinking the same thing about homeless people. I thought it was that simple.

I don’t really know how to answer this. I feel a lot of different emotions around this issue and don’t know that I can really express them in this forum.

The film gave me more insight into what it is like to be homeless.

Very powerful message, inspired.

It brought to light the many facets of homelessness that we as a society don’t often see.

I enjoyed it very much and put a more human face on what others don’t see

Sad understand many people who are homeless have mental health issues.

People will make their own decisions regardless of what you want from them.

I thought about the homeless people I have interacted with, spoken to, and seen on a regular basis in Chicago and beyond.

Showing the family aspect was touching and gives a sense of reality and relatability for the audience. I think people don’t take the time to realize there are a lot of factors.

What a heart moving story, and such profound ideas and words!

Although I cannot relate to being homeless, the film impacted me deeply.

The last scene of the film, where Vince and his son Jack talk, really stood out to me. My father has been living with mental illness and a substance use disorder for the past decade and has experienced homelessness throughout this time as well. I felt that this scene provided a glimpse into both sides of that relationship and how difficult it can be for the person affected and their family. I also really appreciated that the film didn’t portray this as an easy problem to solve, such as having Vince simply move back in with Jack and then everything’s fine, and instead highlighted a beautiful moment that was shared between those two characters. While I’m hopeful for my father’s recovery, moments like those are what help us to stay connected to one another during uncertain and scary times.

Well done film, needs wide distribution deal. I think you should consider changing the title. I have some ideas.

Reminded me once again how hard it is to break away from negative cycles of behavior.

I related to the way it portrays how the homeless are perceived by many

Heart breaking. They deserve humane accommodations like anyone. They deserve meals, medical care, and respect. Society has failed them in such an achingly profound way.

Good production values, but the portrayal the homeless was far outside my experience,

I liked all the characters, they are not so different from the rest of us.

It broke my heart, like it always does.

I don’t really know how to answer this. I feel a lot of different emotions around this issue and don’t know that I can really express them in this forum.

I found it sad…that people can’t get help and/or don’t know how to accept it when offered.

empathetically…because we’re all just one paycheck away

It made me think more about the people who are abandoned by a society.

Movie showed how misunderstood people can be

Sometimes you just have to see the bigger picture.

I could relate to Vince’s pride.

Extremely moving. What a great writing and acting experience. Meaningful.

It was really interesting. The performances were all mostly pretty solid, and the story was definitely interesting.

Vince could have been me.

5. Any other comments, feel free to leave here.

This is an excellent film.

This film shows many different issues that the homeless population deal with on a regular basis. It also shows a bit of the other side, the frustration of the people who work in the system, the affect for family and that is a very important part of the conversation that often gets left out.

Sarah you are truly one amazing, brilliant, creative, talented, smart, warm, and loving human. I can’t wait for your next project ❤️

The film mainly focused on the side of society that shames, degrades, and ignores homelessness. I’d also love to see the side of society that is helping and reaching out to take action and make a difference. This is also and often overlooked side of the story as well.

I felt like the production and picture looked amazing. I was taken from reality for a little bit and for me that is a mark of a great film. The storyline felt realistic and conscious of the homeless struggle.

Great film! Love the ending – so true. This is what some of the homeless people I interviewed said as well.

This film was extremely touching and shares a lovely message. I can’t wait to share it!

Sarah did just a fantastic, unbelievable job! I hope to see more of her work!!! I will put something in the mail to Night Ministry as I do not donate over the internet.

Keep making films like these. You have a good eye for composition, editing and concept.

A well made, deeply affecting film.

I enjoyed the film. Thank you for creating a relevant film about a topic like this, and for shining the spotlight on an overlooked issue.

I worked at UIC hospital and every time the weather was bad they’d go to the ER and say they were having chest pains. They’d be admitted overnight, get cleaned up, and in the morning have a meal. But afterwards, they’d be back on the street. There is a huge disconnect between social welfare, the community, and meeting the needs of the transient. More needs to happen to address the issue, not just band-aid it.

What a wonderful human movie.

This film shows many different issues that the homeless population deal with on a regular basis. It also shows a bit of the other side, the frustration of the people who work in the system, the affect for family and that is a very important part of the conversation that often gets left out.

Really well made film, dealing with an under-discussed topic that is a real problem today. It was really worth watching.

I loved every part of this. Moving. Extraordinarily put together. Great writing. Great acting.

Really well made film, dealing with an under-discussed topic that is a real problem today. It was really worth watching.

The Vince character was great