Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Poverty – The Life of Dave Documentary

What issue does Dave discover?
-          Homelessness (what he discovers)
-          It may be hard to break homelessness because: too many homeless people, people who give them money are afraid they will not spend it wisely, people do not care, people addicted to drugs may not have the determination or intelligence to get out of the situation.
How do people become homeless?
-          Many homeless people have drug or alcohol problems (which they call ‘self medication) which are a high cost financially, and make them poor or homeless.
-          Mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar etc are also a common factor of poverty/homelessness
-          Many spend the money they do acquire on drugs
-          Many middle class people lose their jobs (because of the recession), lose their homes and may become homeless (poverty cycle)
-          Gambling may also be a cause
-          Domestic violence may force women flee from home in a rush. Since many women give up their careers, they suffer when not supported.
What are their lives like?
-          Homeless people are referred to (and refer to themselves) as ‘rough sleepers’ (no bed)
-          They may be hopeless, trapped, desperate
-          They may be bashed, assaulted through violence (if they steal a sleeping spot)
-          Many have no place to sleep, and those who have drug or alcohol problems are not offered beds by organisations, gravitate to places open 24 hours each day e.g. train stations.
-          Some even ride trains to have some where to sleep
-          Sleeping conditions are uncomfortable
-          Even those who do have a regular place to sleep on the streets, have to move every few months and may be forcibly removed by the government.
-          Some resort to busking
-          A lot of homeless people smoke to quench hunger.
Who is helping these people?
-          Mission Beat (provide soup kitchens, blankets)
-          Salvation Army
How does Dave’s experience ‘shed light’ or raise awareness to the issue?
-          Dave raises awareness by showing people the real back-story of why poverty occurs and what is actually is, defies stereotypes and provides insightful comments; he makes people care about this issue in our city
-          Have a firsthand view of what is happening
-          Allows us to see the perspective of a homeless person- scared, drug problems, hungry, lonely etc.    
-          Evokes sympathy in the audience

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