This is a short film module adapted from The Homestretch, as seen on PBS's Independent Lens. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Kasey experienced episodes of homelessness with her family as a child, but after she came out as a lesbian, her family disowned her. Kasey then spent more than a year bouncing between friends' and family members' homes and sleeping on the street; she eventually dropped out of high school her senior year.
Kasey ultimately found a new transitional home—Belfort House, part of Teen Living Programs' (TLP) housing support—and reenrolled in school, but in her new living situation she still felt her mother's rejection of her sexual orientation. A talented poet and painter, Kasey continues to receive counseling for her mental-health challenges, and has moved into an apartment that is part of a new program for homeless youth. And although she continues to look for work, Kasey also hopes to go to college one day.
Kasey's story depicts the family rejection and subsequent homelessness that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth experience. Students will explore the challenges that LGBT youth face in finishing school while experiencing homelessness as well as the support that can be found in "chosen" families.
For more information about The Homestretch, visit the Independent Lens website.