Destiny’s Bridge: Tent City Documentary Humanizes Homeless

Minister Steve has surrendered what most consider civilized staples in order to lead a group of homeless men and women living in an off-the-grid community known as “Tent City” in Lakewood, NJ, in their fight against that town’s attempts to have them removed.

Concerned by stories he’d heard of the town’s attempts to evict the large group of “could-be-you-could-be-me” homeless and of the efforts being made by Minister Steve to help them, South River-based filmmaker Jack Ballo spent the better part of a year interacting with and getting to know the many personalities that make up Tent City.

Making its debut Wednesday, Aug. 7, in front of a packed house at Red Bank’s Two River Theater, Destiny’s Bridge, Ballo’s emotionally moving 90-minute documentary of time spent at Tent City, was followed by a lively Q&A session with residents who’d appeared in the film, which further humanized the on-screen characters the audience had just gotten to know.

The Destiny’s Bridge mission is to “meet the needs of the homeless by addressing the underlying issues that have limited their ability to maintain self-sufficiency and to provide them with an environment that heals, strengthens and empowers.”

Pictured during the Q&A (left to right) are: Jack Ballo, Charlie, Angelo, Nahdirah, Sheridann, Minister Steve, Deborah, Michael and Jack.

The next local showing of Destiny’s Bridge takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Middlebrook Cinema, 1502 Rte. 35 S., Ocean, NJ. (732) 493-3800. Get involved: Tent City—; the documentary—; the foundation—