Right now there are 1.6 million youth in America who struggle with homelessness, and the number is growing. It is a problem that touches every community and school district where Illinois State alumni live and work.

In an effort to ignite the conversation on youth homelessness for the University and Bloomington-Normal community, Illinois State will host a free, open-to-the-public film screening of The Homestretch, followed by facilitated small-group discussions by faculty, students, and community members. The event is being co-hosted by the Department of Special Education’s Innovative Network of Future Urban Special Educators (INFUSE), the Urban Needs In Teacher Education (UNITE) organization, and the College of Education.

Admission and refreshments are free for all attendees, but attendees are required to register so we may determine event needs.

Film synopsis
The Homestretch is set in Chicago and follows three homeless teenagers as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. These smart, ambitious teens surprise, defy stereotypes, and inspire as they work to complete their education and create new definitions of home. Check out the film’s trailer.

Please donate your gently used jeans
Attendees are encouraged to donate a pair of gently used jeans to support local needs of homeless teens in the greater McLean County area. Jeans are a highly-requested item by young people experiencing homelessness and are the perfect item to donate. In addition to being a durable, versatile piece of clothing, they provide a sense of normalcy to the person wearing them.

What: Film screening and discussion of The Homestretch, the story of three inspiring homeless Chicago teens
When: 5:30–8 p.m. Monday, February 16
Where: Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center
Cost: Free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to donate a pair of new or gently used jeans.
Seating is limited! Register to attend now!