Tonight in Youth Group we viewed the film Motel Families. This film was produced by Ashland Supportive Housing. The film captures the stories of families living in motels in Ashland. Some of lost their jobs. Some can’t get a job that pays more than minimum wage. Shelters in Richmond would split the family apart, so to keep the family together, they choose to live in motels.
In addition to the challenging stories, the film brings to light some information statics. Mainly that the weekly cost for “rent” at a motel is about $400. For the average family with a minimum wage job, that does not leave much income left over, which means there isn’t enough for a deposit plus first month’s rent for an apartment.
The film also introduces the viewer to agencies and organizations whose goal is to put a dent in this homelessness issue. One of the organizations interviewed is Ashland Christian Emergency Services (ACES), whom Lebanon donates to weekly food and clothing. As they say in the film ACES buys nothing and sells nothing. All the food and clothing and other items that come in are donations from individuals and churches. And they, unlike other organizations, do not charge for these items. They give everything away.
Finally, the film introduces the viewer to a couple who successfully moved out of a motel into a rented home. Their story is a direct challenge to us all, especially whose of us who claim the Christian faith. What are we doing to aid our neighbors in need? Even the invisible the neighbors who are homeless.
For more information about the film and Ashland Supportive Housing, visit their website.