Date(s) - January 25, 2014
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fresh Wind Christian Fellowship
Categories No Categories
|Studio||Kevin Miller XI Productions Inc.|
|Directed By||Kevin Miller|
|Written By||Kevin Miller|
|Produced By||Kevin Miller|
Early in the morning on June 4, 2013, workers from the City of Abbotsford, BC pulled up to a homeless camp on the side of the road and dumped a truckload of chicken manure on the site while those who had been sleeping there scrambled to pull their belongings out of the way.
Intended as a “quick and dirty” way to disperse this “problem population,” little did those who concocted the scheme realize the public outcry and the legal actions that would unfold. Forced to apologize for their behavior after a barrage of critical media coverage, the City is now facing a class action lawsuit on behalf of the homeless, and an internal investigation was launched into charges of property destruction and other abusive behavior toward the homeless allegedly perpetuated by members of the Abbotsford City Police.
Throughout this ordeal, two of the most prominent advocates on behalf of Abbotsford’s homeless population have been Ward Draper and Jesse Wegenast of The 5&2, a rather unorthodox, front line ministry to marginalized members of the Abbotsford community. As luck would have it, just prior to this incident I had filmed an interview with Ward with the intention of doing a few ride-alongs and creating a short profile of their ministry. But as this incident unfolded, I realized I had inadvertently stumbled onto a much bigger story that had implications not only for the city of Abbotsford but for the issue of homelessness at large.
Over the next couple of months I continued to capture the situation as it developed, filming extensively around the city and interviewing Ward, Jesse, Mayor Bruce Banman, Chief Constable Bob Rich, several members of Abbotsford’s homeless population and various service providers. What emerged was a story of a deeply divided community, torn between their desire to help “the least of these” while at the same time providing an environment of freedom and justice for all of its citizens.