The economic crisis is driving homelessness in the United States to new levels as individuals and families face financial stress, and traditional social and familial networks fray. The evidence is clear—from tent cities in Sacramento to empty shelves at food pantries.
But the statistics don’t tell the whole story for homelessness is not just an economic issue or a social services issue or a community issue—it is a human issue. Every person that finds themselves homeless shares one thing in common—they didn’t intend to start that way.
In “The Soloist” we learn that Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (Jamie Foxx) was once a music prodigy who attended Julliard, but is now living on the streets. He represents over 3.5 million homeless people in the US, which includes nearly 1.4 million children. Nathaniel stood out to Los Angeles Times reporter Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) because of his talent—but what captivated him was Ayers’ story.
“Beth’s Story” was created to shine a light on the millions of people living on the street who are often times overlooked. She is a composite of their many complicated, often heartbreaking realities and of the issues and challenges lead to homelessness.