Premiere of Tucson Homeless Youth Project film


Homeless Youth Project film – Tucson (from

About 70 people attended the premiere film screening today at Armory Park Center, 220  S. 5th Avenue of the new Homeless Youth Project  film produced by Pan Left Productions and the Carlos G. Figueroa Foundation.  I’ve posted above the URL link to this 30 minute film for viewers to see and share with others. M/C Brian Flagg of Casa Maria Kitchen encouraged everyone present to continue to support the good work done by several agencies in town:

Our Family, Youth on Their Own (YOTO), Tucson Youth Development, Wingspan, Primavera, many of which had tables at this event.  There was also a table with B/W photos entitled “The Forgotten Ones” of homeless individuals/camps taken by Master Photographer Anselmo Rascon, who was present.

Ward 3 Councilmember Karin Uhlich welcomed everyone and said that more needs to be done in helping the poor and homeless in Tucson, that we need to “listen to the poor, homeless” because we are “not doing enough”.

Doug Davis of Indic Soul then sang “Another Day of Living”, a powerful song about homelessness, struggle, and existence. He said he had been homeless 2 or 3 times.

The Ron Austin, producer/director of the film,  being once homeless himself, said that the homeless  need somewhere to sleep and be safe, need stability and keeping their personal possessions guarded, and that support for agencies that help  homeless youth is needed.

Ron also announced that a free Wellness Clinic (Healer: Heal Thyself) was ongoing at Armory Park Center that day as well.

The powerful film was then shown, interviewing several  young men/women about how they became homeless, how did they get necessities, how were they treated by the police & the public, and their hopes for the future.  Particularly poignant were their own voices about losing their jobs, fighting with parents, being in CPS or foster care system, drug use, pregnancies, what it was like to live outdoors in tunnels, under bridges, in the parks, staying with friends, getting food.  Watch the Youtube video above for much more of their thoughts/feelings/dreams.

Then Diana Figueroa, daughter of homeless Carlos G. Figueroa related her father’s story of being robbed of his bike & back pack, assaulted so badly he ended up in a coma at UMC, then died a day later on March 4, 2003. This horrible incident propelled Diana to create this foundation upon her promise to her Dad to help raise awareness about homelessness, the less fortunate & the poor in Tucson. She is now on the National Coalition for the Homeless and continues this fight to help the homeless. Her father’s murder at age 52 years old has not been solved to this day.

Lastly Tina Huerta previewed a trailer of a documentary film she is making about interviewing people about their perceptions on homelessness, with interviews of advocates in the field, such as Ron Austin (co-founder of the Carlos G. Figueroa Foundation), Jon McLane (founder of Safe Park, present today), Janet Lynn Henderson of Los Angeles, and Bobby Burns, author of a book called “Shelter”, when he was homeless.

More about the Carlos G. Figueroa Foundation (and videos), click here.




Previous articleArizona Legislature: The coming week
Next articleShort Attention Span Musing
Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).