A painting of me

Street Health Stories and the Interventionists

   13 May 2008, terribly early in the morning

I watched Street Health Stories and the Interventionists last night at DIGIN to DOCS. Street Health Stories features a few homeless people discussing their lives; this narration is played over portraits of them taken by 4 ladies who were at one time homeless. It’s basically an attempt to put names and faces to statistics on homelessness. I thought it was a well executed film. The Interventionists looks at a new unit within the police force that deals with mentally ill people: a police officer is paired with a psychiatric nurse, and they attempt to diffuse situations that would normally be dealt with by EMS or the police. They try to divert people that would normally be sent to jail or to the hospital to services in their area, unless this isn’t feasible. It struck me as a smart and effective use of resources. Both films were interesting.

The discussion after the film went the way most of these discussions seem to. I get the sense that people in the area feel no one listens to their concerns — which is probably true — so whenever they are given a chance to speak, I find they are generally far too antagonistic. The people who came to speak were all basically working to improve the lives of the homeless in Toronto. They really aren’t the people you need to demand more from, since they are fighting the good fight. The fact they might be based downtown, rather than in our neighbourhood really isn’t something you can fault them for. I see this sort of thing happen all the time. Adam Giambrone is by far the most responsive of the elected representatives in the area. And because he’s the most accessible he is the one that gets bitched at the most. Silva and Ruprecht basically hide for 4 years and no one in the area cares — worse still they elect them again. And people are surprised nothing changes?

You can learn more about the Interventionists and Street Health Stories at the NFB.



  1. Well said my friend. I completely agree with you on this one.

  2. documentaries are better when you watch them with your fiance. heh

  3. Pretty much everything is better with my fiancee.

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