Hard Life (2008) (Blu-Ray)
Examines the lives of three local people, their struggles, and the help they received from local agencies.
On any given day there are people in our community who need assistance as the result of personal decisions or outside influences. In many cases family and friends are the answer to their needs. In other cases short-term assistance can serve to address the need for food, shelter and clothing brought on by poor personal decisions, an abusive relationship or a sudden catastrophic event like a flood. HARD LIFE is the story of 3 people who are on a journey of recovery.
Kent was living paycheck to paycheck and lost his job which resulted in nearly instant homelessness. He learned from others on the street of a place he could go for daily meals, help in a search for work, personal guidance, and transportation assistance. Still, nothing can replace the loss of priceless family photos destroyed as the rental company cleaned out his apartment to rent it to someone new.
Ellen was the manager of an apartment complex on the south side of Martinsville when days of rain finally covered her home in 3 feet of sewer backwash and neighborhood debris. She lost nearly everything she owned and for the first time in her life needed to seek out the help of local agencies. As the waters rose, she watched the life she knew wash away and a new life of waiting, reconstruction and change come to the surface.
Debbie came to Bloomington late one night after having bounced between shelters and the home of a friend, finally coming to rest on the doorstep of an agency which provides shelter for battered women. They took her in and gave her a place to stay, but in return she would be expected to go to work. At first she was angry and frustrated when faced with the expectation she would become self-sufficient but soon found herself moving toward greater self confidence.
In the end, this is a story of ourselves. We do not know when we may be the next person in need. As a society we’ve come to accept the everyday nature of those experiencing hunger, who are in need of emergency shelter, or who have lost everything due to a natural disaster. Experiencing these stories serves to remind us of the value and need of the social services in our community.