Homeless in a College Town

A Documentary about the homeless in Amherst MA, a side of town that people do not associate with an educated, successful college and touristy town.
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Matt Heron Duranti
Film
Amherst, Massachusetts
United States
1 Team Member

Documentary Montage

*NOTE FOR SIBIES CONTRIBUTORS: When contributing, just write "SIBIES" in the comment box!*

Your contributions can DIRECTLY IMMEDIATELY help people stay warm!

 

Throughout filming, our production team has bought food, given donations, clothes, sleeping bags, volunteered time at soup kitchens and bottle returns, and petitioned the area to expand the shelter by 38%. We have been filming out of pocket, with volunteer crew members, and cannot complete the film because of post productions costs.
In our film we are showcasing agencies and the services they can provide to the homeless, giving information so people will know how to offer support, donations, or volunteer time.

We are hoping this film will help inspire other communities to do the type of work we have, but no one can see our film if we can’t finish it...

See More...

Our crew of volunteers are working around the clock to help the homeless tell their story learn more about us...

This is a documentary about the homeless community in the college town of Amherst, MA. Amherst's population is predominantly full of educated residents, roughly more than 1/3 of the population has a bachelor's degree or higher, meanwhile 1/3 of the population has fallen below the poverty level.

There's a phenomenon here!

Many chronically homeless individuals live in the town of Amherst,MA more than I even knew.

And even though I grew up in Amherst, I never would have known how serious the situation is, if it wasn't for my girlfriend, Sari Gagnon.

While driving in the car Sari said to me "Every time we get off this exit there's someone panhandling here, and it's never the same person. How many homeless live in this town?" I said I didn't know, but that wasn't good enough for Sari. She's not the kind of person to just let things go.

Sari started looking things up on the internet, she wanted some answers. How many homeless are in Amherst? Why are there more in the summer? Who’s helping these people?

The numbers are staggering!

28.9% of the Amherst population has fallen below the poverty level - that's twice the National Average (15%) and THREE TIMES the State Average for Massachusetts (10.8%).

"We have to do something." Sari said. What can we do? The question didn't even sink into my brain when she said "If I was a chef I'd cook food for them. If I was a seamstress I'd make clothes for them. But we’re filmmakers, so let’s make a film to raise awareness."

Well, who could argue with that?

Sari started talking to the homeless in the streets. I was hesitant and nervous, but she wasn't, and the homeless LOVE her. She has a way of finding common ground with people, and after a while they started telling her their stories. They even invited us into their tent communities.

After a couple of weeks of filming we realized that there is so much more to this story than we ever knew. We can't stop filming yet!

The season is changing, the shelter here is making preparations for an expansion, so many homeless we've met are on a waiting list for housing.

By contributing to our film you'd be helping us DO A GREAT THING! Raise awareness to this crisis, and you'll be helping the homeless tell their story.

What You'll Help Us Do & What You'll Get

 

  • We'll need $20,000 to continue filming our documentary for the next few weeks, and take us into editing, scoring, and submitting 'Homeless in a College Town' into film festivals.
  • For your contribution you can receive any of the following gifts: a letter of thanks from the Director, arm bands, t-shirts, posters, production stills, a special thanks in the credits of the film, an invitation to the screening of the film, or a Producer Credit on IMDB.
  • The funds will help us finish our film, and post-production. AND as part of a long-lasting impression on the community we are going to start a fund in town to ONLY go to helping the homeless, and the services for them in town.

Your Impact

The impact of your contribution is enormous because it's going towards changing the way people look at the homeless. Not just in this small community, but anyone who gets to see the film will be impacted by this story, that you will help tell.

  • By contributing to this documentary you'll be helping give a voice to many homeless individuals. Giving them an opportunity to be seen and heard, reassuring them that they are not ignored by their community. People do care about them.
  • It is the goal of this documentary to not only report on this unseen crisis, but to raise awareness, and take steps towards getting the homeless the services they need.
  • It is our hope that this documentary can influence other communities to do the same for their homeless residents.

Other Ways You Can Help...

Times are tough, and we understand that not everyone can participate, but you can still help!

  • Please help us spread the word about our cause by sharing our video on your facebook or twitter page, and encourage others.
  • Please consider volunteering time at your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

Thank you all for your compassion.

Sincerely,

Matt Heron-Duranti

And

The Counterfeit Cow Productions Team

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$7,511USD
raised by 132 people in 1 month
38% funded
0 time left
$20,000 USD goal
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This campaign ended on November 18, 2012
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  • $1USD
    Because You Care

    Thanks for the Support, we'll give you a web shout out in an update video, and list your name in the special thanks section of the rolling credits!

    5 claimed

  • $5USD
    Web Shout Out

    We'll give you a web shout out in an update video, and list your name in the special thanks sections of the rolling credits.

    12 claimed

  • $10USD
    Web Shout Out

    We'll give you a web shout out on an update video and list your name in the special thanks section of the rooling credits.

    26 claimed

  • $25USD
    A Special Thanks

    Your name will be mentioned in the "Special Thanks" section of the rolling credits of the documentary, and you will received a Thank You letter emailed from the Director.

    30 claimed

  • $50USD
    Arm Band

    In addition to having your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the rolling credits, and a thank you letter from the Director, you will recieve an arm band entitled "Homeless in a College Town" to help raise awareness to the cause.

    15 claimed

  • $100USD
    Signed Poster

    In addition to having your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the rolling credits you will receive aThank You letter and a film poster signed by the Director and Creator of the documentary.

    4 claimed

  • $100USD
    Production Company T-Shirt

    In addition to having your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the rolling credits you will receive a Counterfeit Cow Productions T-Shirt. (International Addresses Please Add $15)

    14 claimed

  • $150USD
    Digital Download

    In addition to having your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the rolling credits you will recieve a digital download of the documentary once it's been released, and an arm band entitled "Homeless in a College Town" to help raise awareness.

    3 out of 15 claimed

  • $350USD
    Combo

    In addition to having your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the rolling credits you will recieve a Counterfeit Cow Productions T-shirt, an official film poster, and a digital Download of the documentary once it's been released.

    0 out of 15 claimed

  • $500USD
    Two Free Tickets

    In addition to having your name in the "Special Thanks" section of the rolling credits you will receive two free tickets for you and a guest to attend the screening of our documentary and an invitation to the after party to meet the makers of the film, AND a digital download of the film once it's been released.

    1 out of 25 claimed

  • $1,000USD
    Official IMDB Producer Credit

    For this contribution you will receive producer credit in the film credits and an official credit on IMDB, two free tickets to the screening of the documentary, an invitation to the after party, and a DVD copy of the documentary.

    2 out of 10 claimed

  • $5,000USD
    VIP Package

    Be invited to special events for the documentary and it's charities, receive producer credit on the film and an official credit on IMDB, a DVD copy of the documentary once it's been released, a Counterfeit Cow Productions T-shirt, a poster autographed by the Director, and an arm band entitled "Homeless in a College Town" to help raise awareness.

    0 out of 2 claimed

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