NYC Chapter lends hand to film on homelessness

Jan 29, 2016

By Rena Malai, News staff

NASW played a small role in portraying the realities of homelessness in the movie “Time out of Mind,” starring actor Richard Gere.


The movie was first shown in 2014 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and released in September 2015.

The film’s production received help from NASW’s New York City Chapter. Robert Schachter, the chapter’s executive director, said the chapter helped link producers to sources that made the homeless aspect of the movie authentic.

“The New York City Chapter was pleased to be asked to provide links between the makers of this important film and leading social workers in homeless services in the city,” Schachter said. “I understand that this helped in the authentic portrayal of social work in the film.”

NASW Public Relations Manager Greg Wright said the film’s director and screenwriter, Oren Moverman, sat on NASW’s Communications Network advisory committee.

Moverman’s producers reached out to NASW to arrange visits to homeless shelters in New York City in order to make “Time Out of Mind” as accurate as possible.

“NASW has had a relationship with Moverman for several years and he has been very supportive of the social work profession,” Wright said. “We are honored we played a small part in helping him create such an important film and hope to collaborate with him in the future.”

Moverman said he visited a lot of homeless shelters while doing research for the film.

Gere plays George, a homeless man trying to survive on the streets of New York City. The film follows George as he gradually goes down the homelessness spiral mentally, emotionally and physically.

Supporting actors in the movie include Kyra Sedgewick, Ben Vereen, and Jenna Malone.

The film also features a social worker named Mrs. Jackson, played by actress Tonye Patano, who shows George kindness and empathy when he comes to a homeless shelter.

Visit to read an article about the movie on

NASW also interviewed Tonye Patano about her social work role in the film. That article can also be found on

From the January 2016 NASW News

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