Documentary tells a different story of Dallas homelessness

Documentary tells a different story of Dallas homelessness

Serving Second Chances Trailer for Videofest from Documentary Arts on Vimeo.

Dallas homelessness is the focal point of a new documentary by filmmaker Alan Govenar. Serving Second Chances was shot over a period of two-and-a-half years and features several people Govenar met at The Stewpot, a Dallas homeless shelter.

“I think that when people see the movie they will see how Dallas is dealing with this difficult problem,” Govenar said. “Dallas is taking proactive steps to get these people off the streets so they can develop more meaningful lives. This is a national problem but the people of Dallas should be proud the programs that exist here.”

homelessnessServing Second Chances focuses on three clients of The Stewpot and depicts their personal struggles to stabilize their lives: Gerald Williams, a musician whose crack addiction ruined his career; Alisa Flores, a victim of an abusive relationship; and Velietta Dickens Rogers, a rape survivor who contracted AIDS. Govenar says homelessness is misunderstood because of the emotional and financial reasons people become homeless.

“Homeless populations are more at risk and complex than I originally thought,” Govenar said. “This film humanizes homelessness by showing how the people grow and suffer over a period of time. It’s not an easy process, but organizations like The Stewpot give people an opportunity to change their lives.”

Gerald Williams, a character in the film, used to sleep outside of Dallas City Hall, lugging his guitar with him wherever he found a spot to stay. Williams will be playing that guitar in the Angelika Film Center’s lobby after the premiere of Serving Second Chances.

The film premiers at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 15, at the Angelika and an hour-long version will be broadcast on KERA-TV on Nov. 5. Tickets are $10. For more on Govenar’s work at Documentary Arts.

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