Filmmaker-pastorJeff Ackers shoots film about homeless in the south, including Greenville

By E. Richard Walton

When filmmaker Jeffrey S. Ackers, Sr. screened his documentary:”Homeless in the South,” he opened minds
He said homeless say it hurts to not have a home.
Ackers suggested it’s mainly the emotional and physical pain

The video/research crew consisted of 8 or 9., he said.

About 300 people saw the hourlong effort at the Peace Center’s Gunter June 29.
This documentary brings the issue to you face-to-face.

It’s hard listening how someone’s life spun out of control from a job loss, a divorce, drug addiction or a huge medical bill. The person’s life crashes.
The film speaks to how its even harder to explain how you arrived in this situation.
Portions of it seemed surreal.
Once you see or meet someone of the film, it’s not hard to begin rooting for that person.

Of course, the audience doesn’t learn what happens with that person 6 months later. Some recover.

Some recover for a while, then head back to the streets.

Filmed over two years, much of the film was recorded in Greenville.
Ackers said in some cities it took a while to convince the homless to talk.
“We had to build relationships,” the filmmaker-pastor said.
“Some would talk,” he said. “Some wouldn’t.”
He said that the Greenville’s homeless were easier to deal with.
They’re taken care of, he said.
“Everybody feeds them.”
It makes sense.
There was Q & A afterward.
Ackers said some people never recover from the stigma of being homeless.

Think of being neglected or never  being (physically) touched.

Ackers some never get over this.

One former homeless person, a woman, was in the audience.
The whole room — mostly middle age and white–clapped when she introduced herself.

She said she knew many people in the video.
“I’m recovering,” said the woman, who wasn’t in film.
The screening was attended by two non-profits who work with the homeless.
They are “United Housing” and “The Dream Center,” which is a new group in Easley.
About 300 homeless were assisted in the 13 counties by United Housing, according to its annual report.
The filmmaker said he made the documentary as “a tool” to understand homelessness.

For more about Ackers go to: www.jeffackers.net

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