A New Documentary Sheds Light on One Man’s Crusade to Bring Health Care to the World’s Homeless

"Go to the People" will be released in 2024. Every homeless person has their own story to tell about their journey to the street.

A new film from Backstory Partners documents the incredible efforts of Dr. James Withers, MD FACP, a physician within the Pittsburgh Mercy health system, and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and his outreach work bringing medical help to the homeless.

Inspired by childhood memories of accompanying his father, a family physician, on house calls, and his mother, a nurse, on home-care visits, Dr. Jim Withers began providing medical care to Pittsburgh’s unsheltered homeless population in 1992.

Initially dressing as a homeless person, “Dr. Jim” began making nighttime street rounds in the alleys and under the bridges of the city. Inspired by this noble outreach, other clinical volunteers joined in, and Operation Safety Net was born. Today, the program is recognized as one of the nation’s first full-time “street medicine” concerns, and it continues to set the standard for this unique form of health care. Over time, Dr. Withers’ work inspired a movement that has since spread throughout the nation and the world. A new documentary called “Go to the People” communicates Dr. Jim’s holistic health care vision while showing his efforts firsthand and describing the effects of the movement he has promulgated.

“When I decided to make this film, Dr. Withers told me that I would be changed by it, and he was right. I learned from Dr. Jim that every interaction with homeless people must begin with listening to their concerns and, sometimes, just hearing their stories.” -- Jeff Sewald, Backstory's Writer-Producer of the film. 

“My work with people living on the streets came not so much from my sense that they needed me, but that I needed them. What I do is modeled on the house calls that I made with my dad. To him, every patient was a person first. His visits were a means of connecting with the needy. I have begun to see pieces of myself in each homeless person I met. It’s been a privilege to be welcomed into their camps, to connect with them as human beings. I have come to see health care and health care training as a giant machine that serves its own purposes rather than those of the people who are ill or suffering.” -- Dr. Jim Withers.

For more information, visit:  Go To The People - FilmFreeway

WHAT: "Go to the People", Documentary 

WHEN: To be released in 2024 

Contact Information:
Megan McVey
Assn. Publicist
[email protected]

Cherry Hepburn
[email protected]
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Original Source: A New Documentary Sheds Light on One Man’s Crusade to Bring Health Care to the World’s Homeless
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