The Beast Inside — A Story of Relentless Positivity

By Krista Kent, project assistant, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness and Digital Design senior, Seattle U

Note: This is the third in a series in which we ask our staff to react to the “American Refugees” film that most appealed to them.

 

“I try my best. I see hundreds of people doing thousands of times better. If I keep doing my best and can’t make it, then I have to find some other way of survival.”

 

When life has taken a turn for the worse, it can be hard to stay positive. If you had no roof to sleep under and were left with no choice but to ask strangers for spare change, only to receive a condescending look at best, how would you hold up?

How would you react if someone told you to “get a job, you bum,” without knowing the circumstances you were in? Would it be easy to fight the “beast inside” and stay positive?

For Tilawn, who has lived in a car with his dad and slept under bridges, the battle against homelessness hasn’t been easy, but he remains positive. The film “The Beast Inside” tells the story of Tilawn and the barriers he faces while being homeless.

The Beast Inside- Drew Christie and Amy Enser; the car that Tilawn lived in with his dad

Tilawn was homeless with his dad from age eight. They often lived in their car in Snohomish County, Wash. Image from The Beast Inside.

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“Super Dads”: Stories of Resilience from Children and Fathers Faced with Homelessness

By Haley Jo Lewis, project assistant, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness and Communication senior, Seattle U

Note: This is the second in a series in which we ask our staff to react to the “American Refugees” film that most appealed to them.

 

Life as a homeless family is “really scary.”

“Really scary…really scary. I can’t explain.” This quote from the film “Super Dads” reflects the raw honesty found within the accounts of homeless fathers interviewed by the filmmakers.

Unrelenting to sadness, weakness and fear: A father’s words are supposed to be filled with strength. In the film “Super Dads,” however, homeless fathers open up about their greatest fears, hardships, and struggles as they talk about their experiences being homeless — something they never thought they’d face.

“Super Dads” hit me the hardest of  the four animated shorts in “American Refugees.” It was those stories of resilience that moved me most. Their hardships are all too real, and pull me back to a time when my own father was homeless, struggling to find a place where we could take solace.

 

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“Home for Sale”: Nowhere to Call Home

 A film that showed me how close homelessness can be for families

Written by Emma Lytle, Seattle University senior communications major and project assistant, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness 

 Note: This is the first in a series in which we ask our staff to react to the “American Refugees” film that most appealed to them.

Stability is the foundation and the glue that holds a family together. Stability comes in many forms, whether it’s sustaining a steady job or having a place to call home.

As the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, I grew up feeling that sense of stability. But some families aren’t always so lucky. Sometimes that glue disappears from a family as parents struggle to make ends meet.

Home for Sale” is a captivating short film about the loss of a family’s stability and the reality of losing their home. This film showed me how close my family could have been to being homeless while I was growing up.

Home for Sale, American Refugees; Project on Family Homelessness, Film and Family Homelessness
This is the foreclosure notice on the house in “Home for Sale,” just one of the many signs of a struggling family.

“That would never happen to us.”

This quote is from the short film. It’s what a couple says as they think about buying a foreclosed house. They feel they would never lose their home to foreclosure.

I have always believed this statement to be true for me and for my family too. This film shook me with the reality of homelessness.

Home for Sale, American Refugees; Project on Family Homelessness, Film and Family Homelessness
The couple looking at buying the foreclosed house. Like many others, they struggle with whether they can buy a house that represents the broken dreams of another family.

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