During a cold winter night a few years ago I was sitting in a bleak smoke-filled room at a Motel 6 in Santa Rosa, California with Matt Lytle; a 20-something-year-old who had spent several long years homeless. We were having a discussion about surviving the mental challenges of living on the streets. Matt said a lot of beautiful things that night. One that I never seem to forget was his comparison of the sound his skateboard wheels make gliding over smooth pavement to that of the sound a mother makes while comforting her baby by saying, “shhhuuush.”
He also told me that night that “in order for somebody to basically get out of the darkness and what not, they have to know that there is a light out there.” Those words and Matt’s ability to find so much beauty in his life during a time when it was so punishing is what inspired me to make this short film series titled, WONDERFUL.
WONDERFUL was screened this evening at a fundraising event for the non-profit Social Advocates for Youth who plan to open their Dream Center this fall. The Dream Center will be a place to help other homeless youth like Matt find a way out of the darkness.
– Erik Castro, April 18, 2015