In Between Homes

IN BETWEEN HOMES explores the reality for families struggling with homelessness in San Francisco. The film looks at the long-term sociological effects endured by both the children and the parents in these families. Following the story of Margaret, a mother who has found stability after fleeing an abusive relationship, this film aims to educate others on the deeper, more personal issues regarding families experiencing homeless, including how overlooked this issue is and what can be done to support homeless families.

Discussion Guide


  • The wide spectrum of causes that lead to families experiencing homelessness
  • Unemployment/underemployment as a root cause for homelessness
  • The negative impacts that living in shelters can have on a child’s development


  1. Sophia discusses how unemployment is a problem as well as how underemployment is a problem.
  • ​How does the nature of temporary employment perpetuate a cycle of unemployment?
  • Why are so many businesses looking for part time/temp work in the workforce?
  • Is it up to the businesses to change their hiring practices or the industry?

​ 2.  Sophia talks about how easy it is to become homeless after having stability.

  •  What are the largest risk factors in the bay area of losing stability? How might one curb these risk factors?
  • Think of factors that create stability, are the majority of these factors able to be achieved through the effort individual or are these factors a product of a larger societal or governmental system?

3. Nadine discusses how important for a child’s development that there is reciprocity between a child and parent.

  • Why might engaging with a child be even more so important in a transitional period?
  • How might reciprocity between parent and child build a sense of self esteem.

4. Nadine talks about how self esteem gives the confidence for children to explore the world.

  • Why is instilling a need to explore and curiosity so important for children and to a greater extent, children in the circumstances of families living in transition?

5. Margaret says, “I know it’s going to be hard but I want that stability for my family”

  • If you were to experience homelessness, what factors would drive you to rise above your circumstances?
  • In what ways does having a dependent hinder or catalyze the progress towards finding stability in a situation of homelessness?

6. Margaret says, “All I know is, if I go back, it’s going to be for the worst.”

  • What are some factors holding back individuals from abusive relationships?
  • How can some of these factors be traced back to systemic causes?

Facts and Resources


  • It is estimated that in a given night in the U.S., there are approximately 645,000 persons in homeless shelters or out in the streets (Byrne, Fargo, Montgomery, & Culhane 2013).
  • The root causes of homelessness fall under six domains: housing market, economic conditions, demographic composition, safety net, climate, and transience (Lee & Farrell 2003).
  • The two broadest causes of homelessness in the United States are structural economic and policy conditions (Crane, Byrne, Fu, Lipmann, Mirabelli, Bartelink, Ryan, Shea, Watt & Warnes 2005).
  • Structural economic is associated with poverty, unemployment, and shortage of affordable housing (Crane et al. 2005).
  • Homeless was defined as people who are without a permanent place to live (Shlay et al. 1992).
  • The fastest growing homeless population since 2011 are homeless families (“Hard-Times Generation).
  • A study by Miller et al (1993) examined the psychological adjustment of homeless children. The results showed behavioral problems rose above normal levels in homeless children and that these problems also correlated with parental distress.  
  • In one study, it was found that almost 50 percent of homeless children have a developmental lag, and over 50 percent required psychiatric evaluation (Bassuk et al 1986).


  1. Byrne, T., Munley, E. A., Fargo, J. D., Montgomery, A. E., & Culhane, D. P. (2013). New perspectives on community-level determinants of homelessness. Journal Of Urban Affairs, 35(5), 607-625.
  2. Lee, B. A., & Farrell, C. R. (2003). Buddy, can you spare a dime? Urban Affairs Review, 38, 299-324.
  3. Crane, M., Byrne, K., Fu, R., Lipmann, B., Mirabelli, F., Bartelink, A. R., Ryan, M., Shea, R., Watt, H., & Warnes, A. M. (2005). The causes of homelessness in later life: findings from a 3-nation study. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 60(3), S152-S159.

Partner Organizations

Raphael House of San Francisco

  • 1065 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 
  • Phone: 415.345.7200 I Fax: 415.345.7299

Hamilton Family Residences & Emergency Center

  • 260 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102             
  • Phone: 415.292.9930

Meet the Filmmakers

  • KEVIN HINH is a fourth year cinema student with an emphasis in documentary film. Fascinated by intimate character driven documentaries, fiction films, and video games, his films are centered around the structures and systems that create these complex individuals. When he’s not engaging with or making media, Kevin spends time with his rabbit.  
  • JAY NGUYEN is a Bay Area cyclist, food connoisseur, hobbyist musician ,and filmmaker. Ever since he can remember he was in love with visuals, from visual art, to photography and now cinematography.  As a young filmmaker, he always makes time to take on new projects, whether it is a product shoot, an independent short, or a full day of covering events.
  • KEN KIM is a native San Franciscan who is a Communication Studies major with a minor in Health Education and Cinema. Growing up in the public school system, he was indoctrinated to believe that a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep is the basis for a healthy life. He is now aware of all that it takes to live a healthy lifestyle after learning about the social determinants of health. He enjoyed taking CINE 527 and creating tools to educate others through documentary film as well as himself through a sense of cultural humility.