A Journey Home

Produced for the Washington Legal Clinic for the HomelessA Journey Home shares personal stories of the struggle against homelessness in the District of Columbia and the journey to find a stable place to call home.

The Need

In 2011, The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless approached Meridian Hill Pictures to produce a short piece honoring the Clinic’s 25th anniversary. As an organization always dedicated to the continued fight for social and economic justice for the city’s most vulnerable residents, The Legal Clinic was weary of producing a video that conveyed a false notion that ‘the work is done.’ The Legal Clinic’s executive director, Patty Fugere, wanted to make sure that the client’s voices were front-and-center in any storytelling effort, so that audiences would have a chance to intimately walk in the shoes of people struggling with homelessness and housing injustice in the city. The Legal Clinic wanted to find a creative way to introduce the presence of the legal advocates as real, empathetic people, not just faceless attorneys. And The Legal Clinic wanted the video to serve as a call to action that other housing and social service organizations could use to educate local audiences on these issues.

As one of Meridian Hill Pictures’ early client projects, we developed a framework for A Journey Home that told the interwoven stories of three Legal Clinic clients and their relationships with their legal advocates. Mostly rooted in verité filming in their home environments, MHP also facilitated participatory workshops as part of the production. The film initially premiered at The Legal Clinic’s 25th Anniversary event at the True Reformer Building. Each attendee received a limited edition DVD copy of the film with a discussion guide designed to spark dialogue about housing and homelessness.

The Story

Ms. Josephine, Ms. Smart, Ms. Ellen, and Ms. Bond have all struggled to find a stable place to call home. The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless’ staff attorneys - Nassim Moshiree, Will Merrifield, and Andy Silver - hope to be a voice for those in the community who have been prevented the access to resources, and for justice to be served. With the help of the Legal Clinic, these women have been able to access legal advice and representation, while also intertwining their lives and creating long-lasting relationships with their respective attorneys. A Journey Home explores the themes of struggle, justice, and community, and depicts the power of working together to place voices forward and creating change.

The Team

  • Director: Ellie Walton
  • Producers: Lance Kramer, Brandon Kramer
  • Cinematography: Ellie Walton
  • Sound: Lauren Honesty
  • Media Educator: Brandon Kramer
  • Editor: Ellie Walton
  • Assistant Editors: Lauren Honesty, Peter Cutler
  • Content Specialists: Emily Whiting, Patricia Fugere
  • Additional Camera: Peter Cutler
  • Music: Sam McCormally
  • Sound Design: David van Dokkum

The Client

The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless envisions a just and inclusive community for all residents of the District of Columbia, where housing is a human right and where every individual and family has equal access to the resources they need to thrive. Their mission is to use the law to make justice a reality for those who struggle with homelessness and poverty.

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