As complaints about the homeless soar, Modesto has rolled out an effort to help them and get them off the streets. The Homeless Engagement and Response Team — consisting of a police officer and a firefighter paramedic — started in July.
No 60-minute film is going to solve the problem of homelessness. Modesto documentarian Richard Anderson knows this.
Maybe nothing can.
When it comes to prevention, it’s easy to rattle off common causes: drug and alcohol addictions, mental illness, underemployment or loss of employment, lack of affordable housing. Overcoming them is another matter, Anderson said. “How are you going to prevent those wells, or springs, or fountains of homelessness from constantly refilling the pool out there? That’s the task we have to rise to, and it seems impossible to me.”
Impossible or not, you don’t stop trying, the retired Modesto Junior College biology professor said. His latest effort to help is “Homeless in Modesto,” an hourlong documentary that will be shown July 19 at the State Theatre as a fundraiser for Family Promise of Greater Modesto. The nonprofit organization works to get families out of homelessness.