"No Address": Feature film about Sacramento homelessness affected by storms
SACRAMENTO — The show must go on for a local feature film about homelessness despite record rains in the area.
For months now, the Placer County film crew has been documenting the production of "No Address," which is being shot in Sacramento.
"When you really look around, I think we all know someone that knows someone that has ended up on the streets," said Patricia Velasquez.
Velasquez is a Venezuelan-born actress who was cast in the movie. She is known for roles in feature films including the Brendan Fraser-led "The Mummy" and its 2011 sequel as well as 2004's "Mindhunters" with LL Cool J Val Kilmer and Christian Slater.
"There is no way you can turn your back away to this reality because it's not something that can affect us directly, but it affects us as a community," Velasquez said.
She toured homeless camps along with Dr. Robert Marbut, who was hired as a consultant for the film. This former White House advisor said Sacramento was picked because the number of unhoused in the city now surpasses San Francisco.
He said homeless encampments serve as micro-communities.
"We have met people who have been together for 4-5 years, sort of a street family which matches what we're doing in the movie: a street family of homelessness," Dr. Marbut said.
In terms of places to film, you didn't have to go too far. Roseville Road was one of the longest linear homeless encampments in the United States. That was until the recent flooding.
Marbut said an encampment in the area is now a quarter of the size it was. For those experiencing homelessness, it's another trauma in a troubled life.
"This is their community, so beyond all the other trauma they have experienced, they are having a second round of trauma with the dispersement," Dr. Marbut.
Rain has changed schedules, but served as a reminder about living on the streets during production.
"For us, it's actually made it very realistic," said Dr. Marbut.
Velasquez, an immigrant, understands how quickly it can happen.
"The reality is many of the homeless are people just like you and me," she said.
One of the reasons she established a nonprofit in her home country is to address critical needs: housing, mental health care, addiction treatment and job training.
"Anything you can do or I can do to change the situation, we have to do it," she said.
The film and documentary associated with it come out by the end of the year.
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