From Senior Producer Luke Heikkila, who reflected upon the work of his current production, newly titled Crossing the Threshold. This program focuses on the issue of Veterans and homelessness*. Hear more about what he has to say about this work…
“‘What is the significance of a door?’
This is one of the questions I have been asking each of the interviewees I chat with during the production of a short documentary I’m working on that deals with Veteran homelessness.
As far as questions go, it is one that is simple and direct.
The answers I’ve received in response to the question are rich and have made me pause and think. I’ve decided the mantra of, ‘if you have a front door you can have 1,001 problems, but if you do not have a front door you have 1 problem,’ is a legitimate way to think about homelessness.
According to the men and women I’ve interviewed, a front door means: security, a place to come home to, a way to welcome someone, a way to keep someone out, home, a home base, relaxation, peace.
There comes a time in a production when the scope of the documentary changes. It can widen, it can narrow. Upon asking this question, the reach of Crossing the Threshold widened. It is no longer a production that is relevant to only Veterans and the Veteran community; this question allows each and everyone who watches it to think about homelessness in a general term that relates to them personally.
This is a picture of my front door. Since late July–when production on Crossing the Threshold began–I have thought about the Veterans I’ve met who are facing, or have faced, a housing crisis. My family is safe behind this door. I end each day entering this door. I start each day leaving through this door. I welcome friends and family to enter through this door.
Will Crossing the Threshold provide all of the solutions to end homelessness? Not a chance.
Will it help viewers understand what homelessness means?
Will it explore ways to support those who are facing a housing crisis?
Will it highlight ways to help Veterans cross the threshold from their service life to their civilian life in a way that allows them to have a front door of their own?
I believe it will.”
*Enjoy reading these posts about Veterans and homelessness? Make sure you check out the other posts Luke has written about this production: “Doran, a Veteran Coming Home” & “The Value of Well-Timed Help.”
For more information about this upcoming program we’re working on with the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), keep an eye on us here and on our social platforms for all the latest information (TPT’s MN Productions & Partnerships on Facebook | @tptMN & #TPTvets on Twitter). We will announce a premiere broadcast as soon as it is available.
This program is part of Veterans Coming Home, a public media effort to support veterans made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Learn more about tpt programming and local resources for Veterans at veterans.tpt.org.