We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Right from the get-go, The Homestretch dispenses rapid-fire facts about youth homelessness in Chicago. The film then introduces its main characters, three Chicago teenagers who represent different faces of the issue. The story is woven with threads of first-person narratives and street stories that end in setback and success alike. It’s clear from the start that this is a grim subject; the teens tell stories of crime, neglect, and sexual abuse. In one scene, a homeless shelter turns away a few dozen teens due to a lack of beds. Homelessness is an epidemic that plagues the nation in an awful way, and it’s up to the media to cast light on otherwise overlooked injustices. Unfortunately, The Homestretch is not a unique portrayal of that problem, and could easily pass as a three-part episode of MTV’s True Life with some superficial editing.