Everlasting August is a documentary about mental illness, policy, and the homeless epidemic of today. If we can discover how we got here, we can create a way out.
Through the lens of dynamic businesswoman Jessica Joy Reveles’ own victories, we see what is possible on an individual level. Jessica is a rare success story of homelessness caused by mental illness. Brutally honest and open, the Everlasting August documentary is a microcosm of the homeless epidemic macrocosm that the United States is currently facing. It shows Jessica’s daily challenges to maintain normalcy and make a difference for others in her work. She now serves on the board of the San Fernando Valley Homeless Shelter, where she and her son lived.
This is also the life story of homelessness itself, particularly in the United States, beginning in 1983, the year Jessica was born. It was during this time that then President Ronald Reagan repealed laws at the federal level that deinstitutionalized mentally ill patients.
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) is the statute that repealed President Carter’s Mental Health Systems Act. The OBRA gave mental patients a choice to seek treatment outside of a mental institution, an option to seek treatment at clinics at the state level, and the freedom to administer their own medication. Over the past 35 years, other laws have been passed that have contributed to the epidemic the United States is now facing.
Alarming diseases arising from the current epidemic:
Leprosy, Typhoid Fever, Hepetitus A, Tuberculosis