How do we relate to people who are homeless? Can we make meaningful connections with people who seem to be quite different from us? These are some of the themes explored in the film Us and Them being co-presented by World Community and the Immigrant Welcome Centre on Wednesday, December 7 at 7pm at the Stan Hagen Theatre, North Island College.

Filmmaker Krista Loughton befriended four chronically homeless people in an effort to help them heal. These four charismatic people reveal the heartrending realities of their lives.  The severe challenges of life on the street are portrayed with an unapologetic openness, in both emotive and humorous ways.  All are struggling with addiction issues rooted in their painful childhood histories.

Years ago, Loughton had been introduced to the First Nations Medicine Wheel and its success helping former addicts maintain recovery.  Under the mentorship of Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., she teaches her friends how to balance on the Medicine Wheel.  They learn to take stock of themselves physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. At first, there is connection and hope, but unfortunately none are able to conquer their addictions nor substantially change their lives. Tragically, one dies.

Out of her league, Krista seeks the counsel of addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté, who forces her to confront her own motivations.  Krista confesses her own emotional struggles with her street friends who display extraordinary empathy and wisdom in supporting her.

Representatives from the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness will attend for a discussion about local challenges and opportunities for ending homelessness.

Everyone is welcome. Admission is by donation. FMI: (250) 337 5412