Poverty addressed in new documentary


Caleb Foote

The Community Engagement Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha recently held a showing of the documentary “Out of Frame: Unseen Poverty in the Heartland.” The documentary gives an in-depth look at poverty throughout the heartland, the area of the country most of us call home.

Jason Fischer is a man who beat the odds; he rose from poverty and is now the director of the documentary and a successful business owner.

Fischer said he thinks it is important to show the stories of those living in poverty and not just show statistics.

Fischer said the goal of the documentary was to give a much-needed voice to those in poverty.

Rachel Olive, executive director of Hunger Free Heartland, said the statistics of “food insecurity,” or people who are unsure of where their next meal will come from, are at one out of seven adults and one out of five children.

According to the documentary, the stereotypical impoverished person is a man struggling with addiction, when it could be families who have fallen on hard times.

A worker from a nonprofit featured in the documentary said many people are proud, and that’s why she believes they have problems asking for help.

Photo Courtesy of UNO
Photo Courtesy of UNO

“You can’t buy them one meal and expect them to miraculously rise from poverty,” said senior Jessica Martin.

Martin said poverty is inherited. She said the biggest problem is the children aren’t able to get the resources to better themselves.

“We need programs to help the children, because when parents are trying to make ends meet they don’t have the resources or time to work with their children about future education,” Martin said.

Candy, a woman whose story was told in the film, said in the documentary, “I never wanted to be a welfare mom.”

After living in derelict conditions, and being unable to procure a better living situation due to a felony she has from 14 years ago, Candy said, “I was on the give-up factor.”

Several of the individuals’ stories featured in the film were veterans. Vernon is a veteran who said he had a good job working for an oil company until he had an accident and became disabled.

When the accident occurred, Vernon said the oil company sent him home to rest, and never asked him to return. He never received workers’ compensation and became homeless shortly after.

Roger, another disable veteran featured in the documentary said, “A lot of people give up and don’t have the will or desire, I never gave up.”