Leadership Class produces documentary to showcase the challenges of the homeless, compassion of the community

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A small group of people in Leadership Huntsville/Madison County Class 30 set out on a journey to meet those within the homeless community.

They wanted to understand the experiences, decisions and beliefs of those you may see holding a sign on our roadways. Now, they hope their experience touches you in a way that awakens your own compassion for others.

"There's families, there's children, I mean children," said Brett Jones, a Navy Seal, said of his experience as a member of the homeless community for several days.
"It's one thing to know and hear, but it's one thing to experience," said Chakri Deverapalli, an engineer, said of his reason for getting involved with this special project.

With merely $5.00 in their pockets, some clothing and a sleeping bag, Jones and Deverapalli spent four days turning preconceived ideas into their reality.

"People that you see holding up signs, there is a story behind that sign, there is a human being that is sitting behind that sign," Jones said.

The men each lead happy, healthy lives. But, for four days last winter, from sun up to sun down, the men traded comfort for compassion. Videographer Isaiah Williams captured the experience behind his camera, for a 38 minute documentary, for you.

"I did my darndest to document the whole thing," Williams said.

Through the story, Homeless in Huntsville, you don't just see struggles, you see the best our community offers.

"Really hardworking, caring, empathetic people doing work for people," Jones said about the different nonprofit organizations in our community providing care to the homeless community.

"It's really great to experience the kindness and empathy of the community," Deverapalli said.

For most of us, the people standing on the street are merely a part of the background. But, maybe seeing life from their eyes, helps your heart see more clearly.

"I didn't expect to take as much away from it as I did," Williams said.

The team from Leadership Huntsville/Madison County is debuting the documentary on Wednesday evening at 6 at Redstone Federal Credit Union Atrium. Following the debut, the full documentary will be available online. We will post the link shortly afterward.