University of Calgary

Homeless documentary

Jan. 12, 2009

Candace Lind, Andre and Liz McDougall

Candace Lind, Andre Prefontaine, a high school student who participated in the documentary, and Liz McDougall. / Photo: Ken Bendiktsen

A series of documentaries about family homelessness in Canada now has a Calgary chapter and a University of Calgary connection.

Home Safe Calgary, by award-winning filmmaker Laura Sky, chronicles children and their families’ experiences with homelessness.

Liz McDougall, a sessional instructor with the U of C’s Faculty of Nursing served as the documentary’s project coordinator and assistant professor Candace Lind sat on the advisory committee. The film was shot in Calgary in the spring and premiered at the Uptown in the fall.

It reveals the contrast between the booming economy in Calgary and the vulnerability of those who have sought a place in it—a place where even parents with decent paying jobs are unable to put a roof over their children’s heads.

“The parents and children, through their storytelling, teach us a lot about poverty, homelessness and discrimination,” says McDougall, who has taught community health practice for several years.

Third-year nursing student Mandy Loates participated in the documentary as a test screener and believes it will be a powerful educational tool.

“I was able to see the film before the final edits and it was relevant to the research I continue to do,” she says.

Filming Home Safe Calgary. / Photo: Sky Works

Filming Home Safe Calgary. / Photo: Sky Works

“Having worked downtown interviewing disadvantaged women, I had some knowledge of their experiences and thought the film was great.”

Lind helped recruit and worked with students from a local high school who advised on the documentary’s content and participated in the filming and editing process. “It is wonderful to see a project of this nature outwardly recognized as nursing work,” she adds.

There will be a showing on campus of Home Safe on Thursday, Jan. 29 in ST141 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Candace Lind at 403.220.4627 or