From Concept to Creation

Needed Change is a seed from which "change" can grow. With the recent tumultuous political and economic situations, many adopted the slogan, "Change we can believe in." But in most instances, we found it only to be a slogan. As time has passed, the hunger for "change" has starved itself out of the picture. Like numerous others, we felt our job was done and we could wait for this so called "change" to show itself.

Personally, we have not been able to find the change and dreams recently promised. Economic stability, careers, doing what we love, and making a difference have eluded us almost completely. From our own experiences in the workforce or with personal business endeavours, we found ourselves in the same boat as many Americans and citizens of other countries, barely afloat.

Instead of wasting one more valuable minute waiting for this so called "change" we have put into place a plan to submerse ourselves in the homeless culture that millions across the world are suffering from. Our goal is not just to document problems like many before us, but to help make the needed change. By doing so, we hope to better understand and address this horrible epidemic.

By becoming one with this forgotten society we will need to learn to survive all over again. From life's basic needs such as food and shelter to handling the mental strain of life on the streets, this will be a test of will and core beliefs.

Kevin Saftner, Galen Sisco, and Drew A. Dayton are taking the first step in creating change. The first step is not words or feelings, but actions. Our journey will take us to the streets of Miami and undoubtedly many more places. With photography, film, and pen we will document our experiences in this whole new world we will be entering. Together we hope to find solutions for the Needed Change.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hey There Bobcats!

Hey everyone, I'm sorry it took us so long since our last blog. Charlotte is so crazy and wild and beautiful and heart-warming that we have been totally engrained and engulfed by it all. I can't wait and hope you all can understand through a blog the wonderful things we are seeing and being part of.

Firstly, I'd like to note again, the sense of brotherhood amongst the homeless in Charlotte. It's unparalled. Within the first week of being in this city, we feel like we've been here our whole lives because of the respect, love, and intrigue shown to us not only by the homeless but by those who care deeply about homelessness.

A personal win for us came through a man we met named Josh. Josh has had a tough upbringing...when I say tough I mean so tough I can not even begin to fathom the strife he has experiences. Seven years ago, when Joshua was 20, his mother, father, and sister dropped dead within a one month period. I had mentioned this in a previous note. Seven years later, with the Lord in his heart, Joshua is more than excited to get off the streets, out of shelters, and to get a job. Getting to know Joshua pretty well, as he took an interest in our documentary, he started hanging around with us. We pointed him out to a jobfair, rounded up a couple bucks for him to get a bus pass and his resume together, and followed him there. First 200 people in got Charlotte Bobcat tickets. Being that a total of under 200 showed up, we also took the tickets and went with him later that night.

About the interview though, Josh blew them away. He is one of the most friendly, charismatic, compassionate and hard-working men I have ever met. Long story short, he used my phone number as a call back and not 3 days later he got that call back and is going to get hired for the job! All he needed was a little encouragement and a few dollars. Think of how much could happen if we all lent a hand and a few dollars here and there. Now I know what you may be thinking, that you would give a few dollars but who knows if that's going to drugs, booze, or something worse. Here's the easiest way to find out...lend an ear, talk to them, listen to them. Not their words but their hearts.

Joshua's story inspires all of us in this to keep going and to not stop helping out and understanding. I still don't understand the riff between the homeless and those who have homes. There are still people that view the homeless as less than human, that it's a crime to be homeless. It's sick and it pisses us off and hopefully we are understanding a way we can change this. Maybe all of us in this forum are the conduits and advocates for the homeless. Guys, we have a hell of a platform here to make a difference, we aren't lying when we say we need you to keep creating a buzz about this. Get everyone involved if you haven't yet. We're going to change something, even if it's not everything, it's going to be something. Thanks to you it already has changed lives.

Going to the Charlotte Bobcat game with Joshua was awesome. Who would have ever pegged us as people who go to NBA games. He was so happy to be out of the shelter and just taking part in a common social activity that can be taken for granted. He told us the best part about it was just forgetting about life in the streets and shelters for a few hours and just enjoying the company of three other dudes. Yeah we were in the last row in the arena but Josh was determined to get as close as he possibly could. Not only that, he actually stayed with us for two nights where we were staying. Where were we staying? On the corner of 11th and Tryon in the heart of downtown Charlotte. In a church yard that seemed safe enough to sleep at night and not wake up with our shoes me, we've experienced stuff like that as have so many other sleeping on the streets.

Also, in the past 24 hours we've seen a woman go ballistic over her daughter getting a job at Mcdonald's. Not ballistic in a bad way, but ballistic in a way that she hugged everyone within a 50 foot radius and starting calling everyone in her phone to share the good news. People down here appreciate work and the ability to make a paycheck, especially when they are far too uncommon. How many people have you heard people calling work like "flipping burgers at Mcdonalds" something to be ashamed of? To see a woman nearly in tears because her daughter got a job there was so powerful and beautiful at the same time how could you not get caught up in it? These things we see everyday, these things we capture with film, with a still camera, what we hear in conversations is stuff so spell-binding and captivating and we can't wait to share it with the world.

Personally, we'd like to thank this girl named Morgan whom we've met whilst here. As we were walking around she offered us some free samples from a fudge shop she was working. I mean she yelled at us pretty good to come in and try the stuff. As a homeless person who doesn't know where his next meal is coming from there is no time to be picky, sweet-tooth or not. Morgan had been homeless in the streets from quite a young age and for quite a long period of time. The warmth she showed us only compares to that of family members and close friends. She met us a few times just to chat about our project, provide us with information, and to also help us with some food.

We're learning that this project is about help and blessings. When people like Morgan walk into our lives and offer us a loaf of bread, how can we turn it down? She wants to pass along a blessing. The blessing cant be fulfilled for her unless we accept the offering. The nourishment she provided to us helps us to keep moving and to keep helping. This is a beautiful world when we are all connecting.

Connectivity. It's a concept that seems to hold a lot of weight, in our eyes. Programs that tie the homeless into activities makes them have a sense of value, a sense of worth, a sense of humanity. The Urban Ministry, a place where we've spent extensive time, allows the homeless in the area to participate in an art program that would rival that of any university's, choir, soccer, urban gardening, and many other activities. The creativity amongst the artists who gather at the "Urb" is inspiring.

The Urban soccer team, from our eyes, is very successful. It's a co-ed team that plays in an adult league against other clubs and organizations. They've welcomed us with open arms to their practices and games. The game we attended was a playoff game in which they won. They are very good. Not only see the smiles, you see the competitiveness, you see the humanity. We met a guy named Zion the Lion. A Rastafarian who also goes by Black Jesus. He told us, "Homelessness is a state of mind." We can't argue with that.

Kevin made his way onto a Johnstown radio station today. The interview can be heard here Thanks to Steph Gartside for setting this interview up with Jonathan Reed of Hot92 and Hot100. Check it out if you haven't already.

We'd be remissed to not thanks the likes of these people we met during our time in Charlotte...Joe Rob, Douglass, Cora, Casper, two guys named Mohammed, Richard and his brother, Stan, Holly, Thomas (congrats on the new teaching job dude!) E-man (Black Moses), Zion the Lion (Black Jesus), Liz, Aaron, Josh, Dale, Cliff, Brittany, Tyler, everyone at the Urb, everyone at the men's shelter, Shannon, Mister, Nathan, Jules, Natasha, Ashleen, Smackey, Jason, Pooch, Luis, Pastor Tom, Nexus Church, the guy that bought Raivis' Go-Ped for $125, the Dixie Tavern for letting us watch a Pens game in the pouring rain and for future endeavors, anyone who gave us food, anyone who gave us a cigarette, anyone that gave us some spare change, anyone who gave us an ear, anyone whose name we forgot and to anyone who gave a damn. You are everything.

I wish I had the time and capacity to go on and on and on and on and on about all of this. I wish you were all here. I wish I had a camera that displayed what I saw with my eyes and carried the footage back to you guys. If you haven't already, put your belief into this documentary. Our only hope is that the finished project justifies the story.

This was lengthy, so was this week, Philly here we come. Stay safe, we love you all!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Charlotte, NC. Days One & Two!

Hey everyone, hope you all has a great Easter and some time off if you got it. We had a mini-break which was nice, spent traveling from Miami to Charlotte. We were dropped off in the middle of downtown in the afternoon on Easter Sunday and aren't getting picked back up til at least Sunday evening. Right off the bat, the differences between Charlotte and Miami were oh so very evident. Granted it was Easter, the streets of Charlotte were so quiet, unlike any other city I've seen. No traffic, no pedestrians, no tourists, to businesses booming, but the homeless were evident.

Shortly after being dropped off we did some exploring and found a men's homeless shelter. It was nice to get some easter dinner but was better was the people we met right away. This man named Richard greeted us as we were walking up to the shelter, within 3 minutes he hit us with his story. Richard, in his mid 40's, was dressed well and was very hospitable. He worked for the shelter but you'd never guess he was homeless himself until he told us that 2 weeks ago his house burned down and he was left with basically nothing. Luckily he was able to keep his job working on remodeling buildings downtown but he still has to start over. He enjoyed keeping us company, making us laugh, and feel not so out of place.

From there the stories of the people we met grew deeper. We met a guy named Joshua, 27, who, tragically lost his mother, father, and sister all within 5 weeks about 7 years ago. We hand't heard a story of that magnitude yet. Because of the circumstances he ended up in trouble, on the streets and in homeless shelters. Today Joshua beams with hope. He is excited that he will finally be working in the very near future. The guy's communication skills are second to none and I hope we can help him find some sort of job or connection that can help him. He's just one of those people that, when they talk, you listen.

Also at the shelter we met a guy named Pooch who shared with us a lot of information about the homeless culture of Charlotte. Pooch is homeless because of family problems and says it's safer for him in shelters. To us, it's heartbreaking, no one should have to deal with that, but if you're family is your shelter brothers, so be it.

After our time at the shelter we hit the streets. We found this girl named Mena who has been homeless for quite a few years. She's got a great voice and is constantly working on her music to propel herself to higher grounds. She says she sleeps on bus-stop benches and only carries a few personal belongings for fear of being robbed. Beyond that, she has a great mind. She's got some great theories on what could help homelessness, especially women, and we look forward to growing our relationship with her and helping her in any way possible.

The great thing about this project is after we get some of these videos edited of these people, there shouldn't be a problem with posting them on here and on our blog and hopefully getting them a job. So we can't hire these people but you know what, there's about 2200 people following us now, it couldn't hurt to throw it out there. Maybe someone knows someone that could help. After interacting with the homeless the past 5 weeks, I don't think anything is a long shot anymore.

After sleeping just off the side of Tryon St. we made our way to a place called the Urban Ministry Center. This place blew my mind as to the services they provide for the homeless. They have an art studio, a soccer team, a choir, and an urban garden just rattle off a few things we learned about today. The sense of connectivity at this place is something unrivaled and I believe that is one of the biggest things homeless people need and deserve. A feeling of friendship, teamwork, and working together with other people brings them a sense of joy that is often taken for granted.

The people we met today who are staff members at the Urban Ministry Center are doing incredible work. We're excited to get a more in-depth tour of the facility in the next few days. Today, our goal was to get to that place, meet people, allow them to become comfortable with us, and then film later on. I think we more than succeeded on all accounts and are ready to start interviewing the staff and homeless alike tomorrow. We will also be helping the staff running the art department with some projects they are doing right now. That's what this whole experience is all about...helping as many people we can and letting everyone know that the homeless are people too. People capable of making differences, people with ambitions, people with skills and drive, people that need a chance.

From here, we are hitting the streets again. Raivis is anxious to find a job in order to acquire enough money to buy a camera and provide photography to this project. It's awesome seeing him happy by helping out. He's constantly telling us how happy and proud his mother would be of him for doing this and it can get pretty emotional at times but in the end its rewarding, inspiring, and encouraging more than anything.

I hope you guys are excited as we are to be about halfway through this project and still thirsting for more. Catch you all later.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Through the eyes of the homeless

Hey I'm Raivis Gerix i'm from Latvia, small town village "Vilgale". I come to United States many months ago i am an explorer. This is my biggest mission in my life and always happen with me so many good things, and i'm very lucky to do this, but its very hard living homless. nobody can tell that i am homeless when im looking for job or place to stay in the daytime and i never know where i can get a place under the roof after midnight. The nightlife on streets is terribly dangerous, i move from NY city like a month ago to Miami South Beach.

After two weeks on streets walking around i meet so many peoples and then one day i was sitting on chair close to Ocean Drive and thinking so many things and i was very scared and then i meet Kevin Saftner and Galen Sisco and Drew A.Dayton. These guys was something amazing, they are doing so much good things for so many peoples, and i appreciate when they give me a chance to do what i really looking for, exploring America and wanting to see a lot of happy faces everywhere and im so lucky to do that.

This mission to is very dangerous life, and its very difficult to survive homeless, its the hardest life ever, and so many peoples just laugh to see the faces but they do not how hard is it to survive in night. Its very hard to see that when somebody eat a ice cream, or enyoying a cigarette and you have a empty pockets, and is no chance to get something, and then your feelings is terrible, but i know that because i was and i am, in the same situation. Now i have a chance to go back and work, get money, family, and im looking forward to this journey and i'm going to help them how much i can, and together we can do that !

Yesterday we come from Miami to North Carolina - Charlotte, today we are going in wild, looking for place to stay and food and to find the homeless and get stories and help them. I want to see whats happen with their lives and just survive every single day.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Camera, Publicity, Plans, & More!

We are uber excited to finally get our new camera into our hands tomorrow. Yeah, we've been able to get some okay footage with out little Flip HD but nothing that will do the interviews and footage justice that the Canon Vixia can do. Thanks a ton to everyone who helped pitch in with sending money to get us the camera, theres no way we could even come close to affording it on our own. As soon as we get that tomorrow, it'll be back to talking with as many people as possible. We've got some great ideas where to go but if you have any please feel free to chime in.

Some other good news has been the publicity we have been receiving from publications in Miami. Gus Garcia Robers, a writer from the Miami New Times has published two different articles about our travels, trials, and experiences so far. I like that the exposure is there but he kind of wrote the article based on our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter...which is okay but it doesn't really convey everything a sit down or phone interview would have done. But hey, it's exposure and it explains mostly everything we are doing. The one article can be found here. You can also find the other article on the Miami New Times website by searching Kevin Saftner, Galen Sisco, or Drew A. Dayton on their website.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 31) we will be sharing our tale on the Joe Castello Radio Show at 11am. You will be able to listen to it live at  We like that it will be an internet radio interview as all of the content and discussions won't have to follow commercial radio/fcc restrictions that is found on public radio, which we undoubtedly hate, but I digress, that is a topic for later. If you can't catch us at 11am you can check it out later in the day as all of the interviews are archived and can be listend to on demand.

We've also been talking with a man who calls himself the Haitian Hillbilly. He's a real awesome guy with a heart of gold and a lot of connections to people that can help us down the road. He knows a girl who is close to Billy Corben. For those of you who don't recognize that name, Corben was the director of the hugely successful documentary Cocaine Cowboys. I can't sing the praises of that documentary enough, if you haven't seen it I'd suggest getting it on NetFlix or at your local movie rental joint. It's a wild tale depicting the Cocaine boom of the 70's and 80's in it's rawest sense: chaotic, violent, cut-throat, and authentic.

It's weird to stay it's sad to be leaving the Miami area in about a week. We never thought we'd say we'd miss living under fridges, asking for money, or surrounding ourselves in the homeless culture but we certainly will. Miami has a new place in our hearts and it's got a home feeling to it that I know I can't deny. From here, we'll be working our way up to Broward, Hollywood, and Daytona to do the same as we've been doing here.

After we spend an ample amount of time in those other areas of Florida we will be taking on the streets of Charlotte NC, Philadelphia PA, and New York City...all areas with a huge homeless problem. After our combined 4-6 week stay in those towns we'll be back in the Burgh. But, when we get back it won't be back to the comfort and privacy of our homes, it'll be to the streets for at least week. I'm intrigued to see how that is going to work out because we figure to run into some of you guys following us or other people we know in general. First things first, we've got stuff to take care of here first. It's nice to plan but we know we can't get to far ahead of ourselves on the work we need to do.

But, like I said, it's nice to plan, so just to throw this out there...when we return we want to have fundraising parties to help the homeless. Yeah, it'll be super sweet to get to see each other once again but we can also do some good with the time and resources we'll have together.

Beyond that, we are in preliminary talks of having a huge fundraising party in Miami sometime in the early summer, we are thinking anywhere between mid May and mid June. If at all you could be part of that, it would be awesome. This project has been big but we want it to be the stepping stone in what will be a fulfilling and sustaining life helping others in need from all walks of life.

We have so many opportunites, skills, creative ideas, resources, talents, connections to help people who deserve a chance but we oft ignore them or shoot down ideas because we think they won't work or because they are unconventional. Screw that nonsense. It's high time to step out of our boxes and just make moves. If we all get together and brainstorm, differences can be made, big or small. We are encouraged by your support on a daily basis to keep doing what we need to do to raise awareness and we aren't going to stop anytime soon. We will do what we can to help make this world be a better place and we will take all of your ideas into consideration for this project.

If you have any input concerning these matters email us at, post on our blog, post on our facebook, call me at 724-554-5481, send us anything you think will help, or just check in on us everyday. Either way, just hearing from you means so much to us. Shalom.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Rescue Earth and Other Super Awesome News, Great Job!

Let's all give Drew a huge round of applause, as of right now he is in the Miami Rescue Mission men's shelter for three days while Kevin and I are working on other aspects of the documentary. What Drew is doing is huge, as he is taking on the identity of a homeless person just arriving into the shelter for the intake program. Drew will be eating, sleeping, waking, and doing all of the activites in the shelter with the rest of the men that go in. Through this, Drew will be writing and documenting everything that happens and making bonds with the others in there. When he gets out on Wednesday  we will be able to interview those who he built relationships with. He's flying solo in there, undercover, without letting our project get him any kind of special treatment. It takes some serious guts to do what he is doing and it is greatly appreciated. If you get the chance, send him a message on facebook to let him know what he is doing is awesome. You can find him on facebook under the name Double-U Drew Dayton. What a guy.

Also today, Kevin and I had a morning meeting with Dean Taha and Finn Hinke of Rescue Earth. What I can't delve into is all of the details of the metting but what I can tell you is that great things are to come through these guys and Rescue Earth. Dean and Finn are totally revamping Rescue Earth in a great way. They are taking on projects that this non-profit has never seen the likes of before. What they are also doing is taking us in with open arms and helping us in anyway they can. We look forward to growing our relationship with them and incorporating what they do into our project as well as helping them out in any way we can whether it be through volunteering, helping them with certain projects, and promoting their cause. Right now they are working on their website and facebook page but please check them out at They are making strides to make Miami and the rest of this country a safer, cleaner, greener, and more efficient place to live as well as getting commuinities involved with the ever-important and growing green initiative. Kevin and I will be meeting with Dean later tonight to work on the ideas that we've already came up with as well as brainstorming more ideas. Like I said, all of us involved our very excited to be working together with them because we have so many like-minded ideas and want to help make this world a better place to live for everyone.

We'd like to thank Marcus Englert for his generous donation of $100 which will be put toward the equipment and resources we need to keep the documentary rolling and to help change perception of the homeless in America.

We want to go out of our way to tell you guys, and are doing so through this documentary, that the homeless are people with ambitions and purpose just like you and I. Most of them are trying their damndest to make a difference, to spread a message, or to help society in general. Yeah, there are those who have been given umpteen million chances to do something and still choose to live an estranged life sometimes riddled with crime but for the most part, that is not the case at all. All most are looking for is a chance, a break, a helping hand...just like we all are. And if we can all just reach out, even if it is in the smallest way possible, America, and the world in general will become a better, cleaner, safer place. We can see it in their eyes and we hope you can see it in ours.

True, there are some messed up circumstances going on right under our noses but if we just take a step back, analyze, brainstorm, and work together, we will make much needed changes for the betterment of society. We are more than happy and proud to say that we are starting to see these changes through all of your actions who are supporting this. Please don't think your work, time, effort, and support will go in vain because it won't. The idea that one person can't make a difference when it comes to this is so far from the truth it's uncanny. You, as one person, lending a hand DOES help and we can't wait to share that with you.

-Galen & Kevin

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Greatest Loss

A friend, lover, a moment in time, a dollar, or even a car...everybody has lost one of these.  The ways it could have happened are endless.  The fact of the matter is they no longer are there.  It is impossible to compare a life to a TV, but it is always easy to compare your loss too somebody elses.  We have lost money and felt terrible about it and we also have had friends lose money and allow it to slip into a distant memory almost instantly.

During this project, we ran into a rough patch that we're sure most of you are aware of but to those who don not know, all of our equipment was stolen a week ago. To most, if ever there were a time to quit this would be it, and we can understand that stance but it's not one we can align with.  If it were not for an encouraging, supportive, and ambitious group of friends and family, we probably would mail it in. We must also take into account that so many people on these same streets have lost so much more than we have such as jobs, families, lives, security, identity, connectedness or love but you know what, they've kept going.

We can never truly understand the feeling of what they have been through, and very few others could either because what we have lost is just a miniscule amount that pales in comparison.  Today we realize this occurance has turned out to be more of a blessing than it has been a loss of monetary/materialistic value.  We may have less equipment, but we now have more passion and understanding of what it means to try to make it with nothing. And yes, acquiring more equipment is essential to the completion of this project, but we have faith enough to know that when the heart of a project is for the greater good, things work their way out.

Yesterday, we teamed up with Rescue Earth, an extraordinary non-profit which hails from Miami, to help preserve, restore, and expand upon a garden in the art district of Miami. Our intentions were to just lend a hand to a great cause, clean up some garbage, and help spur on a project that has hopes of boasting a solar-powered outdoor internet cafe as well as producing some great organic food products such as mangos, papayas, avacados, watermelon, and many other fruits and vegetables. Through helping Rescue Earth, we met some incredible individuals, in particular, the founder Jose Rivas and board members Dean and Fin.

Dean and Fin want to help us with our project and we want to help with them with their ideas. Isn't that what life truly is about when it comes to business? Helping others achieve their goals so it can produce a greater good. We think so. Please hope on over to their website, and check out what they are doing. They are all dedicated to preserving earth's resources and making this planet a cleaner and more efficient place, and that is a cause we all can stand for. We look forward to sharing the news with everyone following us on how they are going to be helping us because it will be in a big way as they have already offered us use of their production equipment and more importantly, their time. Nothing compares to the rewards of helping one another, nothing.

Hopefully, within the next 2-3 days, we will be using the equipment we need to get the project rolling again in the realm of interviews. The Flip cam just isn't the best in the world for interviews with the homeless and other people we meet so hopefully that gets taken care of soon.

Yesterday we were able to take showers at the mission which was awesome to get cleaned up for it has been awhile. Few experiences compare to showering with 6 other homeless people in a community shower. It taught us that even something so simple, such as bathing, is taken for granted far too often. To such is life for those who do not have the resources to bathe in the comfort and secludedness of their own home though.

For now, we are going to get some more footage with our Flip and then meet with the guys from Rescue Earth tommorow morning. As always, thanks for following.

P.S. Galen awoke with bird "droppings" on his sleeping bag this morning.

-Kevin, Galen, & Drew

Friday, March 19, 2010

Helter Shelter!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know that all is well with us on this beautiful day. Putting in 7-10 miles a day of walking to places we need to be has been wearing us down a bit but nonetheless we must keep on keepin' on.

Last night we ate our first meal in a shelter undercover (as in, we weren't escorted by any of the people who work at the shelter nor did we eat with them). We waited in line, which started at 4pm, had all of our bags searched, got metal detected, waited in the chapel, and were called row by row into the cafeteria. Nothing separating us and the homeless except familiarity with the process. A few of the others in the shelter were picking fun at each other as high-schoolers do but it actually escalating to the point where one was kicked out because he wouldn't stop using profanities at those who worked there. It actually got quasi-heated for a minute there.

Although, unlike high-school, the homeless don't seem to separate themselves into cliques. Sure you'll see a few pockets of whites, blacks, asians, or hispanics together but on a larger scale everyone seems to welcome each other. There also is a lot of meal trading going on at these dinners and lunches. Last night Kevin traded a man one tomato slice from his salad for a whole chicken breast stuffed with different beans (sounds gross, tasted insanely good, so much so that we all had 2 helpings).

This morning, after sleeping along the bay and I-195, we walked a good 2 miles to the Mother Theresa shelter, a place we had not visited yet. They set up their meals completely different than the mission does. Firstly, there is no bag inspection and secondly, they don't seem to be as harsh as to kicking people out for using profanities and stuff of that nature. One similarity I did notice though was the number of people who ate at the Miami Rescue Mission the night before just as we did. In fact, I at next to the same man I did last night, us both sporting the same outfits, threaded together by that common bond.

We'd like to personally thank Laura Lapacik for sending us three $25 giftcards to Wal-Mart which will go a long way whether we use that for getting video equipment or other resources we need to finish this project. We have been more than blessed by Laura and her willingness to get us those gift cards. Also, we'd like to recognize Marcus Englert and Brenda Paiz for their monetary donations which we have not yet received but it is on the way. You two have been some of our biggest supporters and we thank you, a bunch.

We also know that some of you have purchased Burgh Cards ( If you are one of them, thank you from both us at Needed Change and Ricci and his crew over at Burgh Cards. You can still pick these cards up from the website for $10. Of that $10 we receive $5 and Burgh Cards get $5 to cover their operating costs. Not only do you help us with this project and homelessness but you also get discounts to nearly 50 different Pittsburgh locations!

Also, thank you to Gus Garcia Roberts, from the Miami New Times, a publication with over 70,000 subscribers for getting in touch with us to do a story. We are also being courted for a story from another Miami publication called BackSlash Magazine which boasts a circulation of 50,000. We are also proud to announce that we will also be in contact with two Pittsburgh area publications, one being the Sandwichzine and the other being the Cal Times. Once we start getting more involved with our talks with them we will post more details about them!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You Are Making This Possible!

We really need to hand it to you guys here, the way you are going above and beyond any expectations with help is truly encouraging. I can't express it enough...thank you. We should be in line to acquire some more equipment in the not too distant future which should really speed things up. Right now, we aren't doing too bad with our little Flip camera we purchased the other day. Yeah the video and audio quality aren't what we had but we're still getting some great footage.

We all want part of this documentary to focus on the talents, skills, and ambitions of the homeless because they are vast and prevalent. Last night, we met a man named Emerson, who has been homeless since 1983... he can play the harmonica pretty damn good. But it wasn't the quality of his play that got us, it was his passion to want to share his story and talent with us. Emerson, like most of his peers, was saddened by the fact that its almost impossible to get a job as a homeless person (I mean, my friends with college degrees feel this pain too). What does a man, so warm and passionate, and eager to be employed do? I hope this documentary uncovers more concerning that.

As for us, last night we slept under a lifeguard tower on South Beach. Not 100 yards away we were kept up by the sounds of that hideous Ludacris single every 6 minutes with presumably a hamster singing the chorus as well as the roars of the club scene. We must acknowledge that we did fall asleep but at multiple times between 3:30am and 6am we were awaken by people having sex or arguing on the lifeguard tower above us. I think last night was the toughest night of sleep so far.

Today, we will be making a 6 mile journey back to the Rescue Mission for a meal and shelter while getting interviews and footage along the way. We also hope to really start getting interviews from those in the shelter as they have now become more comfortable with us. We've met some people who were addicted to crack 2 months prior to today and are actively living a life with purpose and hope of bettering themselves and those in tumultuous situations, it's pretty remarkable to say the least.

We've also been toying with some great ideas as to how to raise money ourselves down here without actually getting jobs. I think Drew would make a great window washer!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How You Can Help Us & The Homeless

Our friend Ricci Minella, CEO of Burgh Cards has set us up with an awesome way to pass discounts along to you while donating to the Needed Change project and homelessness. Jump over to  and buy a Burgh Card, which gives you discounts to almost 50 Pittsburgh Locations. DISREGARD THE PRICE OF THE CARDS ON THE SITE, IT ISN'T UPDATED WITH THIS CURRENT PROMOTION. The card will cost you 10$ and we will receive half of what the cards make to get the equipment we need to continue along with this interactive documentary as well as putting the funds to the homeless epidemic crippling America. We arent ones to ask for money but so many have offered help so we thought this would be a good endeavor. If you feel lead to give, please do so, if not, thank you for how much you've supported us and for your future support. Thanks again guys.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Giving Up Is For The Birds...

And birds we are not...

Though we had 4-5 thousand dollars worth of equipment ganked from our locked car in a parking lot under 24 hour surveillance, we are not 86'ing this project. So many people have already stepped up and offered to donate equipment and money which is awesome, encouraging, and inspiring. I know it helps us when we see others who believe in us as much as we do. Going home and quitting seems to be the last thing on any of our minds.

With this happening I've realized that the only things in life I regret are the things I've never finished. This won't be one of them, we'll keep everyone posted on how they can help if they choose to do so but it looks like we'll have some type of fundraiser involving a bunch of people. When we know, you'll know.

- Galen

Enough said!

- Kevin

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Feeling the Chill

Our hut had somewhat of a mishap yesterday.  During the two hour downpour our roof caved in.  We were able to get it fixed with some driftwood and random pieces of string lying around.  It held well through the very windy night.  The blanket situation did not do as well as the roof though.  The wind cuts right through the thread.  It was probably the toughest night of sleep yet.  I am just thankful though for the tarp roof and having a blanket at all.  There are still many others that are much worse of than us.

Moment of motivation - I saw a man in a suit bum a cigarette from a homeless man.  It was an interesting situation.  I'm not sure who it said more about the homeless man or the business man.  The fact that this man with nothing would give one of his few items or that a man in a suit and getting out of a jaguar had the audacity to take from one with nothing.  Seems to be all too common.  But this project is focused on the creating positivity and I will choose to remember the man with nothing giving what he has over the latter.

- Kevin

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Begging For That Change

In it's most literal sense, I will be begging for change for the next few nights to round up some money for us to eat when we are not at the shelter and for anything else we may need along the way. I'll be hitting up South Beach, a free concert in downtown Miami, and a Miami Heat game. Hopefully people will be giving because we are getting hungry!

As we speak, Kevin and Drew are uploading a bunch of video to our hard drives to mail to Ed in San Francisco which will be posted online within the next couple of days so keep an eye out for that, should be some good stuff for you guys to check out.

This morning I was awoken by Drew throwing all of his body weight onto me and yelping, "DUCK!" Because I was already laying down on the ground I couldn't duck my head any lower so I was confused. That's when I realized it was Drew being freaked out by our duck friend who keeps company with us where we sleep. I named him Cluck Norris because his quack is more of a cluck and he's pretty flippin' tough. He's our guard duck against all those things that go bump in the night.

Monday we will be going into a program at the Miami Rescue Mission that'll take 3 days. It's for us to see what a homeless person goes through when they first enter a shelter. We will be going in undercover in the sense that we won't have any of our equipment. We figure we'll be less threatening and more authentic this way and then afterwards we'll shoot footage and interviews after meeting and gaining the trust of the people in the shelter.

We can't say thank you enough to everyone who has been helping us out along the way...Ed, thanks a million for sending us another camera and buying us a lapel mic, we're picking it up today at the mission and it will help alot. Baeckel-thanks for letting us borrow your Handycam, she's getting a huge workout but she loves it. Emma, Don, and Alex - Thanks for plugging us on the radio, that kind of exposure is really second to none. There is more I know, and we will be getting to you but to everyone else helping and following - thank you, keep up all of your hard work, it inspires us to make this project as great as possible.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

V.I.P Luncheon

Each day that passes I get more encouraged by what's happening. Today we were invited to the Miami Rescue Mission's V.I.P. Luncheon where we spent the day with some very spectacular people from places such as the Broward, Pompano, and Hollywood Rescue Missions. Everyone was very receptive, warm, and intrigued with our project. We were received by a room full of applause as we were introduced by Marilyn Brummitt, which to me says a lot because we were in a room full of people who have dedicated years and years of service to helping and solving the homeless epidemic. I can't say I've ever really felt the sense of pride I feel now by helping these people who are struggling so hard to make it.

When you take a step back, it's not so hard to realize there are always problems out there bigger than your own personal ones, but when you take the extra step to help those in troubled times it almost feels as if the reward comes instantly and constantly keeps you going. This reward is not monetary, fame-related, or, this reward is watching a person go from feeling like they are a nobody to feeling like a human being with a purpose. I can't say I've ever been moved so dramatically and I don't want this to stop. What we're doing here is just the first steps of what I want to be involved with until I can no longer breathe. The injustices of this world stand no chance against the helping hand and it's high-time I've finally acted upon that. Thank you to everyone involved with the luncheon and everyone who is helping us with this project, I assure you that together we are already making a difference.  -Galen

All of those who have been offering us support are once again being thanked by not only myself but all of the members of "Needed Change". The luncheon today as mentioned above, was a total success, most everyone to this point has been a key factor in helping us meet our goals. On a personal level I feel these few days have changed me for the better.  I look forward to finding what the future holds. The next few weeks should be very humbling and we look forward to keeping all of you up to date with our endevors   -Drew A. Dayton

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Booted Out by FDOT!!!

This morning we awoke to FDOT kicking us out of our shanty that we were staying at because the crew was going to be clearing out that area. We had a sweet set-up along the bay and now are in pursuit of a new place to stay in Miami. The Miami Rescue Mission would allow us to stay there but we want to be out and about the city to get more footage until our lapel mic arrives.

Last night we tried to do some ocean fishing for a late night snack but it didn't work out so well. We need to stick with calmer waters if we want to catch anything we can eat.

We met a homeless man from Cincinatti today who has been living around here for a few months. He was pissed off that someone stole his bookbag full of his belongings,  he was also sick and looking for booze. We can't blame him. We feel bad that he can't find a job right now, the people from FDOT that kicked us out today were using prisoners to do the job while many who are homeless are looking for work.

Drew and Kevin took their first homeless beach showers whilst I stuck with cleaning up in a public bathroom. Either way, we are all pretty funky, sticky, and grungy so any clean up time is appreciated amongst all of us, for real. These baby wipes we brought with us have been great temporary solutions for hygenic control. I haven't taken a real shower since Friday, certainly hasn't been the longest I've gone.

Tomorrow we are attending a luncheon at the Miami Rescue Mission to meet a boat-load of people and to get some great footage and interviews. Hopefully our microphone, that Ed is mailing us, arrives shortly so we can get interviews with better audio.

We are directing major applause to Tyler Rahl, not only for designing us a sick photo but for also plugging us at his upcoming art show March 25th and Jozart's studio in California, Pa. Please check out his work, it'll be worth it, and you will be able to help us out if you attend!

I would also like to thank Don Tate for plugging our cause during his radio show on California, Pa's radio station WCAL. Check it out on 91.9 FM if you are in the Pittsburgh/California area.

Also, the three of us will be going into the mission's three day intake program starting Monday next week. They hold these programs every week and they help homeless who have no resources clean up, eat, and sleep under a roof. Should be interesting to say the least.

Monday, March 8, 2010


We're excited to bring you some huge news on what we accomplished today. This morning we met with the Director of Community Development for the Miami Rescue Mission, Marilyn Brummitt. This Non-profit feeds, houses, clothes, and provides a program for over 300 people daily. What we are going to do is go through a 3 day intake program (within the next week or two) undercover with these homeless people in the men's facility to really get the feel for what goes on there without our cameras. Through this, we hope to get a better feel for what some of these people go through on a daily basis all while taking notes, meeting the homeless, and after the program, getting interviews on camera.

That's not the big news, the biggest part is the willingness and passion of these people to help us through helping them...not only are we going to have a place to stay, we have a place to keep all of our equipment safe, we have a place to keep our car parked instead of sleeping in it/driving around in it, we are also going to be able, if we choose, to get meals from the shelter. What has been extended to us will be a more authentic experience and it affords us the opportunity to meet many homeless people from different walks and get them on film if they so choose.

What we saw today in that shelter was awesome and breath-taking...the Miami Rescue Mission does incredible work at getting homeless people off of drugs, out of gangs, sleeping on the street, and gives them a second chance that is almost too good to be true. Surprisingly to us, 30% of the staff at the Mission has gone through the program and they really show a dedication to getting people out of the mess they were once in.

Through Marilyn, we met a 60 year old man named Carlos who has been in the film industry his whole life. Being unfulfilled by a money oriented life and also being in a bad spot, he turned to the Mission. He went through the program and not 2 years removed from it, he has his own studio in the building where he edits and produces all of the films (which he also shoots) and videos that the Miami Rescue Mission puts out which are incredible. He's going to be a vital asset to our cause because he lived the homeless life without much more than the shirt on his back and now is an awesome success story.

We also met a young man named Joseph Warnell who gave us a tour of just some of the shelter facilities including the education facility, dorms, chapel, medical building, and cafeteria. What was awesome about Joseph was his passion, with an unrivaled ferocity, to be a living, breathing example of a second chance. Joseph confided in us that he was a drug user living in the streets and had a pretty troubled past. Now he is in the program and working his way up to graduation and is excited to give us his testimony on camera. Can't wait for you guys to meet him.

We wish we could express through this blog what we witnessed and will be witnessing over the next few weeks is as moving as it is fascinating as it is genuine. We promise you what we will be filming will be worth your while and we hope to be posting some videos in the near future.

I hope through what you'll see we can help raise awareness and change the perception of what a vast majority think the homeless culture entails. We learned today that millionaires, children of politicians, and people you'd never expect in a homeless shelter end up there because they literally have nowhere to turn to when times are tougher than they can handle.

On a side note, last night where we slept...we saw many tents set-up and cars parked along the bay beach off of the highway and thought people camped there. We found out through the Mission that it was the homeless sex offender community. Oh well, we're safe and had one of the most killer views of Miami we've ever seen, you'll have to wait and see.

Again, we can't express how awesome some things are just lining up for us with this project, we have many goals concerning it and we hope to achieve them but we can't do it without your help. Get your friends to follow us too, one of our goals is to have 10,000 followers on our facebook page so everyone please invite your friends.

We'll have some more big news and hopefully some video soon within the near future. For now, take care guys, and keep following!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Welcome to Miami

    Hey everyone, we finally made it to Miami after two nights in Ft. Lauderdale. Miami is our focal point of this journey so we are glad to finally be in our nesting area. If your friends still arent following us yet please give them this website and also have them add our Facebook Page called Needed Change and our Twitter account called neededchangedoc.
   As for us, we are doing well, today and tomorrow are huge days for us for many reasons. Today we met a girl named Val from the Miami publication Backslash. We happened to just be crossing paths on the streets of Miami and exchanged contact info. Her and the publication she works for (comparable to the Pittsburgh City Paper) seem excited to hear our story and help us however they can. Again, thanks Val and Backslash.
   Tomorrow, we are all meeting with Marilyn, a woman who runs 8 homeless shelters, one of which that has a film studio. She is more than excited to give us a tour of them, meet the people there, and get us pointed in a good direction. Hopefully, through meeting her, we will learn a ton and be able to get a bevy of great footage.
   Well tonight is our first night in Miami, thanks for following us guys, keep the homeless, us, and all of those involved in your thoughts for we appreciate it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Hey guys we left the Pittsburgh area last night a little bit before midnight and arrived in Atlanta in the early morning. Right now, we are posted up at Amanda Quay and Tyler Rudolph's apartment doing some tests on our equipment, sending some video to Ed, and making sure we've got our ducks in a row before we head to Miami!!

Within the next two days we will finally be taking this idea for Needed Change to the streets of Miami. We will be interviewing, filming, uploading, and updating our followers constantly so you can interact with us as much as possible.

Also, some great news, we've been in some talks with a public high-school from back home where a teacher wants his students to interact with us and incorporate our story into his lesson plans. This idea has been opening up worlds of opportunities and we hope you all can be a part of it!

-Galen, Kevin, and Drew

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank You For Being Part of This Needed Change

From all of us involved, we are extremely encouraged and thankful for your much needed support. Not only will we be able to update all of you on the our day-to-day activities but you will be able to communicate with us your ideas. We also want to encourage you to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to help create a buzz for Needed Change, our interactive documentary that will confront, combat, and catalyze change in the world of homelessness. Thanks again guys, together, our willingness and hunger to make a difference will should make a strong positive impact.

- Galen, Kevin, & Drew