News Column

Oklahoma City filmmaker returns to streets to raise money to fight homelessness

July 3, 2014

By Silas Allen, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

July 03--Three years ago, when Antwone Taulton was living on the streets for the first time, a homeless man named Ralph Crumble was one of the first people to offer him help.

So it hit Taulton hard in March when he heard Crumble had died. Even worse was the fact that Taulton didn't learn of his friend's death until after the funeral. Taulton promised Crumble's family he would do something to remember the man.

"I owed this to him," Taulton said.

Taulton, now 27, spent several weeks in 2011 living on the streets of Oklahoma City for a documentary film he produced about homelessness in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas. The documentary, "A Day In Our Shoes," was released in 2011. Proceeds from DVD and pay-per-view sales of the film went to help homeless people find permanent housing, transportation and employment.

This week, Taulton will be living on the streets again, this time for a few days, to raise money for 100,000 Homes, a campaign that seeks to place homeless people into permanent housing.

Taulton met Crumble, who went by the nickname "Scooby," when he was sleeping in his car in downtown Oklahoma City. Crumble, then 42, awakened him and offered to buy him breakfast.

Crumble and Taulton became fast friends over the coming weeks, and Crumble became one of the two subjects in the film. Getting to know Crumble changed Taulton's perspective on homelessness, he said.

"My project wouldn't have been successful at all without him," Taulton said. "God can use anybody to teach you some things."

On Thursday, Taulton plans to collect donations at Urban Taco in downtown Oklahoma City. Taulton's pre-recorded interview business, Speedy Interview, will also host a fundraiser bowling tournament next month. Taulton hopes to raise $10,000. He said his company will also help homeless people with job interviews.

Donations will go to the Homeless Alliance's 100,000 Homes campaign. Kim Woods, the Homeless Alliance's deputy director, said the funding will help the group continue to find permanent housing for Oklahoma City's homeless people. The events will also help make people aware of the group's mission, she said.



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Source: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City)

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