All of a Sudden is the story of “housing first” from the perspective of the formerly homeless. What is the truth — told in personal stories — of the idea that you can’t fix the problem of homelessness until you get a roof over someone’s head? Eden Village has been particularly effective in getting roofs over heads — so much so, that it’s now getting national attention. But what, exactly, in human terms, is that success based on? All of a Sudden will explore the lives of the residents, share how they became homeless, and come to some understanding of what having a home now means to them.
Eden Village is the result of a decade-long concern with homelessness by David and Linda Brown — two wealthy residents of downtown Springfield, Missouri, who began to see the homeless not as annoyances but as neighbors. They saw a need for a drop-in center for the homeless in downtown Springfield during the early evening hours, so, in 2010, they opened The Gathering Tree. The purpose was two-fold: to provide a safe place for homeless persons to get off the streets for a few hours and to build relationships and gain a first-hand understanding of homelessness.
In 2012, The Gathering Tree leased their own facility and expanded the hours to five evenings a week. Meals were provided along with essential items such as clothing, personal care items and survival gear. As many as 150+ individuals were served during these evenings.
Over the next four years The Gathering Tree met with some challenges that led the Browns to look for a different way to help. It was during this time they discovered the “housing first” theory: “The causes of homelessness cannot be successfully treated until the fundamental needs of the individual are met. Those fundamental needs include food, clothing and shelter. Once the individual has these basic needs met, he or she is much more likely to be able to focus on addressing why he or she became homeless.”
They purchased land for Eden Village in late 2016. The facility opened, and began housing residents, in August 2018. In December of 2019, the Browns announced plans to build four more facilities in Springfield, with EV2 currently under construction. Eden Village has gained national attention as a “housing first” model. By February 2020, the Browns were beginning franchise negotiations with individuals in several U.S. cities.
All of a Sudden will be in production through the end of 2020, with a potential premiere in Spring of 2021.
Support All of a Sudden:
Associate Producer: Chris Gawat
Producer: Shannon Cay
Executive Producer: Andy Cline
Director: Shane Franklin
Director of Photography: Jym Wilson
Field Audio: Corey O’Connor