“Sometimes I ask myself ‘what would stop a person from helping somebody?’ I really can’t answer that. But, what I could imagine is fear. I truly believe that one day something greater than all of us is going to force us all to come together and see each other for who we really are. It’s not going to matter how much money you have in your pocket, it’s not going to matter what you’re wearing, it’s not going to matter if you have a car or not, it’s not going to matter none of those things. The only question that’s going to matter is, ‘are you hungry, are you okay, may I help you.’”
Veteran, U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant
Served from ’93-’97, Infantry Gunner, Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Specialist
Homeless for 5 Years
Gerald Hall is our host in Van Maximilian Carlson’s touching and hopeful Skid Row, Los Angeles. Hall speaks of his own travail as a homeless veteran as well as that of several other veterans and many others. Of course, homelessness can be and is usually associated with hopelessness, but not in this documentary. Hall and the many other people in this film are fighting for their lives, for their dignity, decent homes—for acknowledgment of their worth in this world.
The residents of skid row live in tents. Throughout the film Carlson pans several times along the road these tents are on, pressing the point that this is simply not humane, nor respectful, nor just. But, the film’s point is these skid row residents have intrinsic value, and that value should be honored, respected, and supported.
Specifically, the residents are seeking decent and safe homes, health care, meaningful community, and meaningful lives. They are fighting against non-stop development, careless and cruel policing.
Carlson also covers the hope provided by caring people who are supporting skid row residents. Here are the organizations highlighted in the film:
This year, 2021, Los Angeles Eric Mayer pledged one billion dollars to help end homelessness in Los Angeles.
Skid Row, Los Angeles is a crucial addition to the ongoing, preventable scourge of homelessness in the United States of America.
Note: In addition to being a prolific filmmaker, for this film Van Maximilian Carlson directed, produced, shot, edited, colorist, provided the music along with Phil Lober, and wrote the song, “Where Is My Home”