The Untold Story of Homeless Children in America’s Public Schools Comes to Light in Project Hope Alliance’s “Invisible Girl” Ten-Minute Movie
Costa Mesa, CA, August 7, 2018 – On August 7, 2018, Project Hope Alliance released “Invisible Girl,” a ten-minute movie that sheds light on the issue of homeless children in America’s public schools through the story of a young girl and her family. Jennifer Friend, CEO of Project Hope Alliance states, “There are 1.3 million homeless children in America’s public schools. Over 28,000 of those children are in Orange County, CA. Many can be found living in motel rooms, cars, shelters – hidden in plain sight. The wonderful part of it is that we have the ability to change this.”
“Invisible Girl” was written, directed, filmed and edited in such a way that encourages people of all ages to watch, and to become aware of the unfortunate reality of homeless children existing in communities all over the country. Even the length of the ten-minute movie was intentional. Jennifer Friend states, “We wanted to make this movie as accessible to as many people as possible. Watch it on your phone during a break at work. Watch it with your family at home.
Share it with your physical community, and with your community online. Making yourself and others aware of this serious problem is the first step in making a difference in the lives of children and families.”
The “Invisible Girl” story hits close to home for Jennifer Friend. At the end of the movie, Friend states, “This story is really important, because the girl in this story was me. This is my story. Growing up in a motel was really hard. Here you are a kid, You’re ten, but yet you’re having to navigate and leverage all of these things – knowing you don’t have enough food, knowing you don’t have enough money and wondering where you’re going to sleep. And my story is just one example.”
Project Hope Alliance aims to do whatever it takes to ensure that kids experiencing homelessness today don’t experience homelessness as an adult. Jennifer Friend states, “Our mission at Project Hope Alliance is to end the cycle of homelessness one child at a time. I invite you to join us in our mission by watching and sharing ‘Invisible Girl.’ Together we can give hope for the kids.”
About Project Hope Alliance
There are more than 28,000 homeless children attending Orange County Schools. For over 25 years, Project Hope Alliance has been ending the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time. With you, we can end homelessness today and prevent homelessness tomorrow.
The mission of Project Hope Alliance (PHA) is to end the cycle of homelessness, “one child at a time.” PHA’s mission is child- centric – focused on providing holistic support to homeless children, offering crucial educational support to provide future academic success, while providing permanent, rapid rehousing to homeless families, so their children can focus 100% on school and building bright futures. PHA’s main programs are Bright Start (education advancement), Promotor Pathway Program (on-site case management at schools) and the Family Stability Program (housing for homeless families). PHA has moved more than 1,000 children and parents out of homelessness since 2012.
The mission of Project Hope Alliance is to end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.
Formed in 1989 to support the transportation needs of homeless children attending the Project HOPE School (now Skyview Elementary), we remain committed to providing homeless children and youth from kindergarten through age 24 with the tools and opportunities that they need to learn their way to a better tomorrow. In this work, we have spent the last 28 years developing unique and effective education and family stability program models that serve the needs of homeless children in Orange County.
Project Hope Alliance is a purpose-driven organization with twin goals: lifting needful families up from homelessness and eliminating obstacles that prevent homeless children from attending and excelling in school. We have two main programs to achieve those goals—our Family Stability Program and our Education Program. Since 2012, we have moved more than 800 children and parents out of homelessness. Currently, Project Hope Alliance supports more than 400 children attending 91 different schools in 31 cities throughout Orange County.
Our programing development and implementation is based upon the premise that the futures of homeless children should not be limited by their parents’ economic circumstances. Strategically, we utilize education, transportation, after school care, rapid re-housing, personal enrichment, and “play” opportunities to provide a foundation for healthy development and growth. We are eliminating the barriers—including homelessness itself—to academic success and cognitive development created by the circumstances of childhood homelessness and strengthening families.