IMPACT

Sebastian Hughes, California Man, Attempts Homeless Reality TV Series

08/10/2012 05:08 pm ET

A man who overcame homelessness is now a television and film producer with a sole mission in mind: revealing the realities of what it is to be homeless in America.

Sebastian Hughes originally created a pilot for a "feel good" reality TV series that would document homeless life, but faced rejection by all major TV networks, SF Weekly reports. But the determined producer will now compete with 170 similar projects for funding on Kickstarter, according to the news site.

Hughes has also since completed a documentary entitled "Homeless Need A Network," in which he juxtaposes his struggle to air the series with interviews of homeless citizens in the Bay Area, in hopes that it will successfully boost awareness of the cause.

"This is how the system works: You go crazy, don't have family, you go to the streets," Hughes explains in the trailer for his documentary "Homeless Need A Network." "We've got to try to change this. We got to fix this."

On any given night, there are upwards of 640,000 people living homeless in the United States, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 17 percent of whom have been homeless for a minimum of one year and suffer from a serious physical or mental health issue.

Hughes explains that the gap between those who live with and without stable housing must be bridged in order to provide adequate services to those who struggle. His documentary is aimed at motivating the public to reject false messages that are promoted by stereotypes, just as Hughes, himself, once did.

"[Upon entering transitional housing] I realized that these guys wasn't crazy by my definition," Hughes recalls. "They don't have family or friends so they're just out there amongst themselves, functioning as best they can."

Hughes plans to screen his project in cities in California that house a minimum of two shelters, in hopes that he can enlighten residents, and inspire them to join in his fight for change. Additionally, he asks that his message be shared via his Kickstarter campaign, in order to promote national awareness of the cause.

Watch the trailer for "Homeless Need A Network" above, or visit the project's website to learn more about the cause.

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