Vice Impact (2018)
This film is about Covenant House, a remarkable teen homeless shelter in New Orleans. Although the founder James Kelly is Catholic and past co-president of Catholic Charities of New Orleans, the shelter is “Franciscan” in its refusal to impose religion or dogma on its staff or clients. It openly supports clients with LGBTQ issues, even though the Catholic Church condemns homosexuality and transgender identification.
Covenant House, in operation since 1988 caters to runaway, homeless and at-risk youth age up to age 22. Seventy percent of their clients have been physically and/or sexually abused and 80% have PTSD or some other mental illness. Twenty-five to thirty-nine percent are on psychotropic medication and some are overtly psychotic because they refuse to take medication. Some are single mothers who have their kids with them.
In addition to shelter and counseling, Covenant House also supports kids in attending local high schools, as well as offering GED, life skills and job readiness classes.
The documentary, which features moving vignettes of highly skilled counselors working with psychotic and highly troubled youth, is extremely moving.