amre_5[1]Our partners at SU’s Project on Family Homelessness just published the first in a series of blog posts on the “American Refugees” short films produced by our other ‘sister’ project, The Film & Family Homelessness Project. Read below for new project assistant Emma Lytle’s reflection on “Home For Sale,” which contrasts the excitement of buyng a home with the heartbreak of foreclosure, telling the story of one family’s sudden descent from stable employment and housing into homelessness.

A film that showed me how close homelessness can be for families

By Emma Lytle, Seattle University senior communications major and project assistant, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness, originally posted in the Project on Family Homelessness Blog on 7/25/14 

 Note: This is the first in a series in which we ask our staff to react to the “American Refugees” film that most appealed to them.

Stability is the foundation and the glue that holds a family together. Stability comes in many forms, whether it’s sustaining a steady job or having a place to call home.

As the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, I grew up feeling that sense of stability. But some families aren’t always so lucky. Sometimes that glue disappears from a family as parents struggle to make ends meet.

Home for Sale” is a captivating short film about the loss of a family’s stability and the reality of losing their home. This film showed me how close my family could have been to being homeless while I was growing up.


This is the foreclosure notice on the house in “Home for Sale,” just one of the many signs of a struggling family.

“That would never happen to us.”

This quote is from the short film. It’s what a couple says as they think about buying a foreclosed house. They feel they would never lose their home to foreclosure.

I have always believed this statement to be true for me and for my family too. This film shook me with the reality of homelessness.


The couple looking at buying the foreclosed house. Like many others, they struggle with whether they can buy a house that represents the broken dreams of another family.

Like the wife of the firefighter who lost his job in the short film, I never questioned the stability of my family. I always found security in my parents’ jobs because I never thought people could stop needing medical attention and people always need firefighters.


The couple in the film discussing what they will do now that the husband has lost his job. This is one of the many heart-breaking conversations that occur in struggling families.

The filmmaker, Laura Jean Cronin, was a Film Fellow in the Seattle University Film & Family Homelessness Project. Interestingly, the inspiration for the film came from Continue reading on the Project on Family Homelessness Blog