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Documentary Shows What It’s Like To Be Homeless In San Diego

Photo credit: Dennis Stein

A poster for "Tony the Movie."

The whole country knows about San Diego's struggle to find shelter for thousands of homeless people as the hepatitis A outbreak continues to spread. But as much as homelessness has been talked and written about, San Diegans seldom hear from the people who are living it.

San Diego businessman Dennis Stein wanted to hear and document the story of what it is like to be homeless and what San Diego leaders are doing about the problem. He met Tony Rodriquez, who is homeless and lives downtown, and together they made "Tony the Movie."

In the film, Rodriguez interviews politicians and policy advocates about Housing First, the federal strategy to get homeless people into permanent supportive housing instead of temporary shelters. But viewers also see Rodriguez struggle to find housing himself and his efforts to avoid being ticketed or arrested by police.

"It's about survival,” he said. “Most of your day is about surviving, finding a safe place to put your things, finding where to get food, trying to make money."

The movie is being screened throughout October, including Tuesday night at Whistle Stop Bar and Oct. 28 at The Observatory North Park.

Stein and Rodriguez joined KPBS Midday Edition Tuesday with more about creating the film and Rodriguez’s continued search for a permanent place to live.

Documentary Shows What It's Like To Be Homeless In San Diego


Dennis Stein, director, "Tony the Movie"

Tony Rodriguez, homeless San Diegan



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