Someone Lives Here – Hot Docs 2023

Someone Lives Here
A David vs Goliath story showing that there are still some people in the world who care about the wellbeing of others.

Someone Lives Here – Hot Docs 2023

Runtime: 01:15
Someone Lives Here is a modern-day David and Goliath story, set against the backdrop of North America’s housing crisis. Carpenter Khaleel Seivwright builds small, life-saving shelters for unhoused people living outside in Toronto during the winter of the pandemic. His actions attract international attention, but also staunch opposition from city officials.

A Toronto carpenter builds tiny homeless shelters amid the COVID-19 pandemic in . As Toronto's homeless population rose throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto carpenter Khaleel Seivwright took it upon himself in the fall of 2020 to create tiny shelters that he would leave for the homeless in Toronto parks. While the public championed his initiative, Khaleel would soon receive a cease and desist letter from city officials, leading to a fight for the survival of Toronto's homeless.

Someone Lives Here Synopsis

Someone Lives Here is a documentary by Zack Russell following Toronto carpenter Khaleel Seivwright as he works on his tiny shelters project. The film is narrated by an anonymous voice-over interview with a 58-year-old homeless woman named Taka. She talks about how the tiny shelters made her feel normal and allowed her to survive the winter. This contrasts sharply with the argument made by city officials that the tiny shelters were unsafe and the homeless were better off seeking subsidized housing from the city. This option turns out to be a near-impossibility for many homeless.

My Thoughts on Someone Lives Here

Toronto became a much different city amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as the streets looked like a ghost town and homeless encampments appeared in parks such as Trinity Bellwoods and Alexandra. Someone Lives Here tells the David vs Goliath story as Toronto carpenter Khaleel Seivwright tries to improve life for the city's homeless, only to receive opposition from the city bureaucracy. Someone Lives Here becomes particularly difficult to watch as it depicts the forced eviction of the homeless from Toronto parks, which cost the city $1.9 million. Ultimately, Someone Lives Here shows that there are still some in the world who truly care for the well-being of others.

Trailer for Someone Lives Here – Hot Docs 2023

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.