Segments in this Video

Meet Rudee (04:33)


Rudee, age 6, explains why she lives in a motel and remembers a time she had to sleep in the bushes. She is unable to describe what home means. Rudee's mother discusses life in the motel.

Project Hope (02:39)

Hope School is a public school, open year-round, to keep homeless kids in attendance. Ms. Judy describes what it is like teaching impoverished children.

Meet Dylan and Deanna (03:03)

After their mother died, Dylan and Deanna Hayes became homeless with their father. They attend Hope School, and Dylan wishes his life would change.

Meet the Oezkan Family (04:13)

Ben and Dilan's mother discusses her children's education, future, and her monthly income. Their father recently lost his job at Target.

Motel Chores (01:42)

The Oezkan children complete their daily chores. Ben and Dilan discuss the violence and drugs they encounter while living at the motel.

Education Obstacles (01:45)

At Hope School, second, third, and fourth graders share the same room and one teacher. Celine, age 10, is uncomfortable sharing a classroom with her two younger brothers.

Specialized Learning (04:58)

The police are regularly summoned to the motel. At the Hope School children learn about the dangers of drugs. Celine receives satisfactory remarks on her report card.

Bed Bugs (04:23)

Brenda, age 11, and Meygan, age 11, deal with bed bugs. The motel maintenance crew does little to irradiate the infestation. The Brewster family is a group of five living in one motel room with four dogs.

The Brewster Family (02:09)

Mother Brewster is a 42-year-old-widow working in the parking department at Disneyland. Zack, age 11, had to appear in juvenile court on burglary charges.

Dumpster Diving (02:38)

Once a week, a family is evicted and their belongings are put into the motel dumpster. Motel children search for toys in the garbage.

Safety in School (02:34)

At Hope School, students receive breakfast, lunch, and a backpack of food for the weekend. Motel kids explain why they like America.

Meet Gabriel (03:41)

Gabriel, age 7, attends the funeral of his mother's boyfriend. He acts out in school, seeking attention.

Meet Cassidy (03:44)

The parking lots and streets that surround Disneyland are the playgrounds of the motel kids. Cassidy, age 8, explains what it's like to sleep in a park and live in the motel.

Dinner Service (04:37)

Dinner for the motel kids is often provided by soup kitchens run by local churches. Motel kids explain why they think God allows them to be homeless. The Oezkan family is planning on relocating to a house.

Meet Kiera (03:24)

Mother Brewster calculates the amount of money necessary for her and her four children to move into an apartment. Kiera, age 9, feels unsafe living at the motel.

Emotional Effects (02:15)

At Hope School, Ben is having a difficult time with friends, and Cassidy shaved her head due to lice. The Oezkan family's move is postponed due to family problems. Motel kids are asked what they look forward to in life.

Eviction Notice (02:23)

The Brewster family is evicted, because Zach has been accused of damaging motel property.

Field Trip (03:11)

Rudee, experiencing a stomach ache, must wait for the school van at the end of the day to go home. Hope School takes the children on a field trip to the beach.

Credits: Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County (00:49)

Credits: Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County

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Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Journalist/producer/filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi – who has built an award-winning reputation with her playful, politically charged HBO documentaries about George Bush, Ted Haggard and conservative America – shifts her focus to a serious social issue that has been exacerbated by the recent economic downturn: homelessness among children of the working poor. Shot over the course of the summer of 2009, Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County follows several Southern California children who have taken up residence at discounted motels within walking distance of Disneyland, spending their childhoods in limbo as their families struggle to survive in one of the wealthiest regions of America. As we see, though the community is trying to provide the children with adequate education and food, the day-to-day lives of motel kids are more often than not a numbing exercise in boredom, frustration, and ever-diminishing expectations. An HBO Production. 

Length: 61 minutes

Item#: BVL114997

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

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