The Neglected: A Film About the Street Children of Ukraine by David Gillanders

Photographer David Gillanders of Scotland made this film from his work photographing the homeless children of Ukraine. It was produced by Britain’s Channel 4. The drug addiction and desperate living conditions make for a very upsetting experience. It is difficult to imagine how children can be allowed to slip below the streets to live in sewers. It is an unforgivable sin in any civilization to allow this to happen to its children. Most of these kids are now dead.

It seems to me a worthy form of journalism that straightforwardly documents suffering that is being experienced by the most helpless members of a population.

Thank you to Paul Gallagher at Dangerous Minds.

On Skid Row: Documentary Film by Sam Slovick

Sam Slovick made this 2008 documentary on skid row in downtown Los Angeles. The area is home to approximately 9,000 homeless people who deal with life on the streets, drugs, crime and serious physical and mental health issues. The film was made just prior to the massive economic collapse of 2008 when the numbers of homeless began to rapidly increase.

Parts 3 through 5 follow the jump.

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America, One Quarter of Your Children Are In Poverty

Look at these kids. Look at how bright and good they are. Sixty Minutes went and found some of the millions of recently homeless families living in cheap motel rooms around this country as they try to maintain some semblance of normalcy in a rapidly collapsing world of foreclosures and endless joblessness.

An entire generation of kids is going to grow up with a very different attitude about life and country than we baby boomers have had. These kids are the shock to the American system. They experience an America of grinding poverty and large corporations that heartlessly protect only the top earners in their structures. But these kids have a sharp awareness and a reflective quality that bodes ill for the status quo.

Republican policies would strip poor families of affordable access to health care and birth control services. Republican policies favor the very wealthy and corporate profits at the expense of everyone else. This is very strange since many supporters of Republican policies are themselves poor. Democrats are not much better. They tend to have a more realistic view of poverty and its causes, but they do not show the strength required to stand up and be great in the face of despair. Obama is a decent and dull failure. I am pessimistic about his chances at a second term because he has not behaved as if he did not want or need a second term. All presidential mediocrities temper their politics toward winning a second election. A great president only wants a single term in office.

America finds itself in strange waters during a time when it is supposed to be commanding a bright future. It bogs itself down in budget busting wars that are meant to spread democracy in countries that do not value democracy. America spills its blood and money into the earth, but will end up with nothing. The people it fights for will not build free societies. They will wallow in filth and slip back into the hands of despots or religious tyrants. Some people on earth have no possibilities. It is that simple. One must eventually leave those people to their own particular demise.  To believe otherwise is to engage a fantasy.

But not these people in this video. These are sharp and strong Americans who will recognize what’s been done wrong in this country and they will stand up and decide to fix things when they are just a little bit older.

I found this via Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds.

Public Service: Help the Food Banks

Food Banks Need Help: Donate To One Near You

The economic recession has caused the loss of of millions of jobs over the past year. This means that many families across the country no longer have enough money to pay for their homes, medical costs, or their food.  There are ‘tent cities’ springing up in many parts of the country where people who have lost their homes go and try to make do with the bare necessities.  These people must have places to go for food.

Feeding America is the nation’s largest hunger-relief charity. They operate a network of 206 food banks. These food banks are very important in providing hunger relief for those who need it. They supply local soup kitchens and various programs that feed undernourished kids.

The food banks cannot keep up with increasing need as job losses get worse in every part of the country. You can help by donating to the food bank closest to you. When you contact the food bank they will tell you how you can help them serve the local community.