LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A documentary called “Rescue Ride” looks at efforts to help the homeless across the country, and the Las Vegas Rescue Mission is one of the stops.
Brandan Thomas, executive director of the Winchester (Virginia) Rescue Mission, hopes to use the film to raise awareness about mental illness and homelessness.
“Me and a group of some of my friends, we rode motorcycles from Winchester here,” Thomas said. “We’ve stopped at rescue missions all over the way.”
Since 1970, the Las Vegas Rescue Mission has been assisting homeless in Southern Nevada.
Their mission is to provide food, shelter, addiction recovery and a back-to-work program. The shelter has provides about 30,000 meals per month for people in need.
The mission, located at 414 West Bonanza Road in the shadow of the spaghetti bowl interchange, is one of 14 shelters selected to participate and be featured in “Rescue Ride.”
Thomas has taken a 12-day cross country trip that began at the mission he runs, just west of Washington, D.C.
“Checking out (the issues) that people, especially homeless, deal with as well as some of the incredible work being done by rescue missions across the country.”
In his film, Thomas takes a look at the foundational role of mental illness and homelessness in each city.
“From Arkansas, we went north. Then we came back to Albuquerque, Phoenix and then to Vegas,” Thomas said.
The final stop: Los Angeles, where the homeless population is surging.
Through collaboration and visits to other missions, Thomas hopes it will bring about new ideas and help meet the community needs of homeless populations.
“If only they can dream again. If only they live the life they intended to live, and what can we do to help them get there.
Timothy Rocha has been part of the Las Vegas Rescue Mission rehab program for 3 months now.
He hopes documentaries like this will give people a new perspective on combatting the problem.
“Just knowing that there’s support around the country is awesome,” Rocha said.
Thomas says his father’s story inspired him to create this documentary. He says his father suffered from schizophrenia and was also bipolar.