In Depth: Homelessness in Wealthy Metropolises

Through the lens, these selected documentaries tell the stories of socioeconomic injustices in different major metropolises like Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, and other wealthy cities.


What does it really mean to be homeless? How does it really feel to have no place to call home? What are we doing about the situation? What can we learn from each other? “Care About Us” is a feature length documentary that gives you, the audience a chance to explore these questions and more through the real life accounts of individuals facing the reality of homelessness in countries around the globe today.

Source: Care About Us

United States

‘On the Streets’ is a 12-part video series about homelessness in Los Angeles. Journalist and filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti tackles this complex issue by putting faces to the statistics. She starts by following The L.A.Times’ homeless data map, and sets out to have conversations with people who do not have homes. Since October, Biagiotti has been learning about their varied experiences and connecting their stories to larger issues. Along the way, she gains input and insights from Angelenos. The series concept is to build a dynamic documentary scene-by-scene with our audience. Thank you for participating and helping us tell this story. ON THE STREETS

Source: Los Angeles Times

Marc Singer’s “Dark Days” is a feature length documentary about a community of homeless people living in a train tunnel beneath Manhattan. The film depicts a way of life which is unimaginable to most of those who walk the streets above. In the pitch blackness of the tunnel rats swarm through piles of garbage and high-speed trains out of Penn station tear through the darkness.

Source: ooBoKoo


Berlin has a growing homeless population. More than half of the people are from Eastern Europe and depend on the many shelters around the city. Local authorities are struggling to cope.

Source: DW Documentary

Munich is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, but the most expensive one. Since 1945, it has experienced the least effort in creating new homes for citizens of all big cities in Germany. Unlike other big German cities, Munich is not surrounded by vast districts of high prefab buildings, which explains part of the city´s charm, but results in dire housing shortness. There is even a special law for Munich that no building inside the city centre is allowed to be higher than the cathedral (99m). Since the 1990s, many council homes were sold to private owners by the city of Munich. Not only are flats immensely expensive, but there are masses of people applying for each flat. Most flat owners don´t publish their offers in the newspapers or internet anymore, they just ask around among friends or neighbours, and within hours, a new tenant is found. Year by year, the housing situation in Munich is deteriorating, and new records for flat prices are broken. As can be seen in this short film, even working people with a regular job can’t afford normal flats anymore. No copyright infringe intended. I do not own anything in the video, everything belongs to its respective owners.

Source: knowledge_is_beautiful

United Kingdom

This documentary follows us as we spent 24 hours on the street of London to raise money for St. Mungos homeless charity.

Source: Winston Davis


Seven people are striving for better lives in countries where the top 0.1 percent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. By connecting their stories, the documentary ‘The Divide’ reveals how most aspects of our lives are controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor. Wall Street psychologist Alden wants to make it to the top one percent; Leah from Richmond, Virginia works at Kentucky Fried Chicken and just wants to make it through the day; Jen in Sacramento, California is unable to even talk to neighbors in her gated community – they’ve made it clear to her she isn’t “their kind”. By weaving these stories with news archive from 1979 to the present day, ‘The Divide’ creates a poetic, psychological and tragi-comic picture of how economic division creates social division. The film was inspired by the best-selling book The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. Exciting, powerful and informative – DW Documentary is always close to current affairs and international events. Our eclectic mix of award-winning films and reports take you straight to the heart of the story. Dive into different cultures, journey across distant lands, and discover the inner workings of modern-day life. Subscribe and explore the world around you – every day, one DW Documentary at a time.

Source: DW Documentary


This talk translates our society’s increasingly global conscience to understanding the challenges of homelessness and realizing the innovative community problem solving making a difference in communities across the nation. Amanda sees our acceptance of homelessness as a pathology of our disconnection with ourselves, each other and our planet. Amanda presents a vision of community where everyone is at home and invites our participation in tangible actions we all can take to end homelessness. A consultant and entrepreneur, Amanda Ridgway, Ignite Consultancy, facilitates redesigning the necessary holistic systems that support healthy communities. She brings international experience strategizing community development to the challenges of affordable housing and homelessness. Presently she is engaging the Port Alberni community working with non-profits, municipalities and health services in completing an evidence-based homelessness prevention plan. Previously she worked in the Comox Valley to devise a model for more effective service provision. With a unique blend of psychology, performance coaching and mindfulness of the spirit, Amanda reframes real community challenges in a way that invigorates citizens to reconnect with their best selves and discover creative solutions. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Source: TEDx Talks

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