Saturday, January 27, 2007

Homeless Brought to See "Pursuit of Happyness"

This is a creative move by this mayor...

From -- "About 100 homeless people were guests of the mayor's office Thursday for a screening of ''The Pursuit of Happyness,'' the real-life story of a homeless man who worked his way to becoming a millionaire.

City officials said they hoped the audience would be uplifted and gain hope from the film. Others cautioned against high expectations, noting that many homeless people are mentally ill and struggle with substance abuse.

The crowd of mostly homeless adults and elderly people groaned at some of the familiar difficulties faced by Will Smith's character, Chris Gardner, and clapped at his triumphs.

When Gardner, who gets evicted along with his young son, is finally offered the stockbroker job he painfully strove for, the audience burst into applause and wiped away tears.

''Everybody here not only has a story, but they have gifts and skills,'' said Arafa Speaks, a 52-year-old homeless woman and advocate who brought the idea to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration last month.

The crowd was smiling as they came out of the screening at the theater that had donated the time and space."

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Make it a great day!


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