Hidden In Plain Sight: Homeless in Arkansas
Jancey Sheats of KARK Channel 4 hosts "Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless in Arkansas". This program focuses on the rise in homelessness among Arkansass population. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, two trends are responsible for the rise in homelessness over the past 20 to 25 years: a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty. Arkansass poverty rate is approximately 18.5 percent, almost four percent higher than the national average of 14.3 percent, according the U.S. Census Bureau.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty estimates between 2.3 and 3.5 million people experience homelessness, while the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates 2,852 Arkansans were homeless in 2009. However, measuring homelessness is difficult because of the fluidity of the homeless population. The program will feature the documentary "Bridge to a New Life, the Story of Miss Malen and the Couch Surfers," produced by Sarah Moore and Cheryl M. Sybrant of Fayetteville, about a transitional living program for 18 to 22-year-olds in the Fayetteville area.
A panel discussion will follow the film and feature Carolyn Turturro, co-chair of the Arkansas Homeless Coalition; Dennis Beavers of the SOAR Network; and John Woodward, executive director of 7 Hills Homeless Center.