Home Arts Documentary Focused on Vermonters Struggling With Food And Housing Tours Vermont

Documentary Focused on Vermonters Struggling With Food And Housing Tours Vermont

A still from “Just Getting By,” about Vermonters struggling with food and housing insecurity. Image courtesy of Bess O’Brien.
“Just Getting By,” a new documentary film by Bess O’Brien focused on Vermonters struggling with food and housing insecurity, will tour Vermont starting March 22 in Burlington, and ending April 11-12 at The Savoy in Montpelier. 

“Just Getting By” is a sweeping, and yet intimate, look at the lives of Vermonters who are struggling with food and housing insecurity. 

Vermont has the second highest rate of homeless people in the United States, after California. One third of Vermonters struggle to put food on the table. These are big issues for a small state. “Just Getting By” focuses on these issues in the lives of everyday people.

The film tells the stories of working families, folks who are homeless and accessing food shelves and soup kitchens, and people who are living in temporary hotel/motel programs. In addition, the film focuses on new Americans grappling with the cost of living in America, Native people creating innovative farming practices, and folks on the ground providing services to their fellow Vermonters in need.

“Just Getting By” explores the day-to-day challenges and incredible resiliency that low-income Vermonters bear witness to every day.

The film was shot during 2022 and 2023 by director Bess O’Brien and cinematographer Patrick Kennedy. 

“We wanted to capture the day-to-day lives of Vermonters who were living paycheck to paycheck and who were struggling to keep food on the table and a roof over their head. We also wanted to show the incredible resilience and courage of folks who have very little, and still manage to get up every day and strive for a better life,” O’Brien says.

“We hope by touring the film across the state that we can raise consciousness about these pressing issues of food and housing insecurity with Vermont audiences,” says O’Brien.

The movie is produced by Kingdom County Productions. There will be discussions after each screening of the film with the director, folks from the movie and audience members.

For more information, go to kingdomcounty.org or email bobrien@pshift.com.