Category Archives: Documentaries

Watch full-length homelessness documentaries online for free.

Broken Lives Illustrated Homeless Documentary

Broken Lives Illustrated Homeless Documentary

Broken Lives Illustrated is the story of 12 homeless individuals living in St. Pete, Florida.
The subjects were interviewed and then turned into fine art by artist Jake Troyli

More info on their original kickstarter listing here

Documentary Notes

Hearing the stories of the homeless and expressing them through artwork.


Kevin Farley, college educated, ex-carpenter lost his job and girlfriend in Kentucky, USA.

Brian Douglas, lives in Maryland, born in Connecticut. Recovering drug addict following a biker lifestyle for many years. A bike accident now means his only form of income is disability allowance. Explains a lot of fights and robbery on the streets.

Borris Samson, St Petersberg, Florida. Spent a lot of time in children’s homes/re-formitory schools. Talks about sexual abuse, and beatings when he was a young child at said school.  The worst part of living on the street: no structure. Stuck in his past. Lived his life in and out of prison. “Existing without a purpose”.

Dave, been arrested 39 times in 2013.

Adam, absolute hero.

Hardest part about being on the streets? – Finding a safe place to sleep

Why don’t people sleep in hostels or shelters? – Hostels and shelter are noisy, smelly, cramped, hard to get any sleep.



  • Various forms of drug and alcohol use
  • Mostly results from losing a job
  • High reported rates of violent crimes on the streets
  • Theft of the streets
  • High reported rates of sexual abuse
  • Living day to day, often living with other families

Further Resources

St Vincents de Paul Shelter

Big City Life – Homeless in New York

Big City Life: Homeless in NY (RT Documentary)

There are around 1,750,000 homeless people in the USA today. According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, nearly 64,000 people, including 22,000 children, are homeless in New York City. Through an artist who paints New York vagrants, RT relays the life stories of people who live on the edge, learns how they came to the streets and how to survive there. We also meet some of the dedicated volunteers who do what they can to help.

Documentary Notes

  • People feel safer on the streets
  • Have to sleep with one eye open in hostels
  • More opportunity to get mugged or raped in hostels
  • People commit crime on purpose in order to go to prison/jail to get shelter and food.
  • Homeless people do not have a fixed address and thus find it hard to claim certain benefits
  • Drastic increase in the number of soup kitchens opening up in New York
  • Easier to earn money on the streets
  • Cramped in hostels
  • Noisy & Unclean conditions in hostels
  • A lot of mental illness on the streets
  • Most people get into drugs and substance abuse issues after they are homeless
  • When you’re living on the streets it’s very hard to “come back” and improve your current living position

An unsuccessful story – from Millionaire to Homeless

An unsuccessful story – from Millionaire to Homeless

A story of British man who used to be a multi-millionaire but who is now living in his caravan in Lisbon, Portugal following the collapse of his 160 companies around the world in the credit crunch.

Comunidade Vida e Paz is a nonprofit organization in Portugal dedicated to providing the poor and homeless of Lisbon with nutritious meals, clothing, and assistance in the transition to employment and life off the streets. Comunidade Vida e Paz operates a daily meal program through the dedication of its volunteers and is not only serving food and clothes but also gives those homeless people the confidence they so desperately need to become productive members of society again and leave life on the streets. Or if they don´t want to leave the street, Comunidade Vida e Paz volunteers are there to help them making their ways of life a little bit easier.

Tracking device will help keep an eye on children

Missing toddlers and truanting teenagers could soon be things of the past with the development of a revolutionary satellite tracking system to enable parents to keep an eye on their children 24 hours a day. A tiny gadget called KidBug will enable parents to monitor the movements of their children – and the manufacturer plans to give them to 10m parents before the end of the year in the expectation that many will pay the £10-a-month fee to use them.

The 4cm sq unit, which can be concealed in a child’s clothing, will be able to track the precise location of the child to within five feet using the global positioning satellite tracking system (GPS) more usually used to navigate at sea. Tony Rose, owner of CarBug plc, which makes tracking devices for cars, boats and bicycles, devised the idea after his three-year-old daughter Natanya went missing during a trip to Brent Cross shopping centre in north London. He said: “My wife and I were looking in shop windows and she disappeared in those few seconds. Any parent would give anything in the world in those few minutes to know where their child is.

“I thought it would be simple to make a tracking device using the same mapping software we already use to track cars, boats and bikes.” The prototype is already developed and Mr Rose is planning to produce 10m KidBugs in Taiwan at a cost of £500m. Some parents may use KidBug to monitor older children and teenagers suspected of truanting or mixing with the wrong people. For £10 a month, parents will get a card to place in the gadget and activate the tracking system. The child’s location can be shown on a small map on a mobile phone or computer, using satellite navigation and “triangulation” of the mobile phone networks to get locations within buildings. “Eventually, KidBug will be the size of a wristwatch and every child will wear one.” Mr Rose plans to distribute the gadgets through schools and doctors’ surgeries. – from The Guardian, Monday 10th of April 2000

Without a Roof Homeless Documentary


“Without a Roof” is a raw film documenting the daily lives and struggles of homeless living in Canada; it is directed by 17 year old filmmaker, Gordon Sun, leading a team of motivated youth to complete the documentary.

From abused teens to adults struggling with alcohol abuse, the variety of homeless individuals are startling, it is said that in any given year, there are 200 000 Canadians without a home. “Without a Roof” aims to remove the societal stigma and prejudices that the general public may have on the homeless, and in turn, emphasizes the unifying power of the human spirit and equality.

Through 30 minutes of powerful interviews, tearful anecdotes and powerful visuals, “Without a Roof” is a must watch for anyone who has made preconceived judgments about those less fortunate than us.

Documentary Notes

  • Looks at the different reasons why people became homeless, some through a spiritual choice others because of domestic violence at home etc.
  • Most common reason for becoming homeless:
  1. Mental illness
  2. Poverty
  3. Substance addiction (drugs & alcohol)
  • Being forced into crime just to survive. Stealing food etc.
  • Chronic homelessness – homeless for over 3 months
    Transitional homeless – homeless for less than 3 months
  • 200,000 Canadians homeless at any one time.
  • 40% of homeless in Toronto have drug issues.

Martin – Where Am I Sleeping Tonight? (Homelessness Documentary)

Martin Where Am I Sleeping Tonight – BBC Documentary 2015

At 16, Martin Read found himself living on the streets. Since then, he’s spent time in prison and suffered from mental health issues. But he has picked himself up and is now a film director. This, his first film, is made in and around Bristol and tells the stories of the young people he meets who are not registered anywhere as homeless but are forced to sleep on friends’ sofas, in tents, in caves, under bridges and on the streets.

Since the introduction of the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions and the privatisation of many hostels, the under-25s have been hit hard. Charities estimate that the real number of ‘hidden homeless’ is three times as high as the official homeless figure, so that almost half a million people are now sleeping rough or being supported by friends.

Martin’s past experiences have enabled him to gain unrivalled access into the worlds of those he meets, and the result is an honest and revealing look at what homelessness for young people really looks like today.

Documentary Notes

  • Documenting the lives of the hidden homeless. Video made in Bristol.
  • Charities think that it’s because of the 7+ billion pounds cut from benefits.
  • Millions of people not technically registered as homeless but are in fact homeless. Sleeping on friends floors, in squats, in caves, in the woods etc.
  • Homelessness shot up 80+ in last 5 years.
  • Meeting people who live in caves near Clifton.
  • Not feeling safe in hostels, fear. This is why people choose to live on the streets.