Lloyd Thorne is a veteran who has made it his life's mission to provide other veterans with the help he needed to overcome the obstacles of returning to society once he returned from Vietnam. Helen Shaut's life is connected to veterans in many ways, including her husband. Together, they lead The Veterans Organization of Resource and Recovery for the Homeless (VORRH).
VORRH is based in Eustis, Florida – just outside the Ocala National Forest, home to thousands of homeless people. Florida has the third largest homeless population in the United States, and 30% of the homeless in Florida are veterans of the U.S. armed services.
Many veterans from older conflicts have spent time in the jungle, in the forest and are adept at surviving there. For veterans of more recent conflicts, the forest is a more calm place than modern cities that can closely resemble the setting of the urban warfare they took part in. VORRH tries to work with veterans of all kind, looking first to identify those that could be rehabilitated – brought to the VORRH home to live with other veterans, living a much more normal life, getting a job, and settling back into society. Other vet's aren't quite ready for rehabilitation, but a little help can keep them going and inch them back to society, while for some unfortunate vet's there is no hope of rehabilitation, and all that Lloyd, Helen and VORRH can do is work to make their life in the forest more livable.
Unlike most Actuaity Media projects, this film was not made by a student crew, but rather by staff taking part in a 5 day film challenge.
This film was made for the 2013 Doc Challenge – docchallenge.org
We are more than a film study abroad program. Actuality Media is a service learning organization that takes students and young professionals abroad to create media on changemakers in developing communities around the world. Our films spread the word about nonprofits, NGOs and social entrepreneurs who are implementing innovative, new ideas to combat chronic social problems. Find out more about our work and adventures at actualitymedia.org