'Dignity of a Shower' is latest documentary
"The Dignity of a Shower," the latest installment in the "My Road Leads Home" documentary series on homelessness in Spokane, was released in September during a week of broadcasts on Community-Minded Television (Comcast 14) and on the myroadleadshome.org documentary YouTube Channel.
"Simple math shows the need for showers among Spokane's homeless," said Maurice Smith, executive producer. "The January 2020 Point in Time Count showed 1,559 people in various stages of homelessness, an increase of 18 percent over 2019, which was pre-COVID.
Spokane's city-wide shelter system has only 648 beds, leaving 58 percent of the known-and-counted homeless in Spokane with no access to a shelter, bed, shower, toilet or basic services shelters offer.
"The Dignity of a Shower" highlights and humanizes this reality." He said the documentary has already had an impact.
"It has increased conversation about the need for showers in the homeless. Shortly after the premiere, I received an email from a nonprofit in Poulsbo in Western Washington, telling me they are setting up a mobile shower outreach and our documentary convinced their Board to green-light the project. That was a 'Wow!' moment for me," he said.
"Good documentary film-making should not only educate viewers about an issue, but also motivate them to get involved and make a difference, and it did," he said.
In addition to making one-hour documentaries on homelessness in Spokane—three in the past 18 months, which air locally on Community-Minded Television and Rising River Media, the "My Road Leads Home" series is creating documentary shorts.
These are of 10- to 15-minute "mini-docs" that focus on a particular issue for the homeless community, like the need for showers.
"The Dignity of a Shower" is the first in this series of at least six.
Rising River Media's next full-length documentary project is in planning. "And Justice for Some" will look at the intersection of homelessness and the justice system, focusing on "Sit & Lie" and "No Camping" ordinances in light of recent federal court decisions. It will explore how the homeless are treated by law enforcement and the courts.
"We're in conversations with possible participants. This one will take more pre-production planning than the others," he said.
Rising River Media is a nonprofit media and publishing company in Spokane Valley. Maurice is also a co-founder of Feed Spokane and recently served as media liaison for the Leadership Team of the Spokane Homeless Coalition.
For information, call 475-8797, email email@example.com or visit myroadleadshome.org.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, October, 2020