Students at Hall High School in West Hartford are tackling homelessness and working to change how we think of people on the streets.
A group of seniors is making a movie to showcase the stories of the homeless and help their voices be heard.
“The faces of the homeless are essentially the faces of the people you walk by on the streets every day. And, at times generally, we just look right through them, no eye contact, and just disregard them completely,” said student Matt Piccone.
The movie is part of a senior capstone project in Elizabeth Devine's Global Problem Solving class.
Devine's goal is for her students to use what they learned during their four years at Hall to break down stereotypes that surround homelessness using a 21st-century digital format.
“Testing has its place, but frankly, if you want to be successful in the work world, you have to be innovative, creative, collaborative, reflective and be willing to apply what you know to a task,” said Devine.
Students like Piccone and Arielle Landau interviewed the homeless around Hartford, and what they found both surprised them and changed them.
“Going into it, I definitely thought everyone we would interview would have some mental health issue or were addicts, but that wasn’t the case. They were mostly just down on their luck,” said Landau. “It was one of the most breathtaking, enlightening experiences of my life. I learned, in those three days of interviews, more about myself and about my community than I did in my entire high school career."
Students created a page on GoFundMe to raise money, which they plan to donate to the Charter Oak Community Center.