Top 10 Movies About Homelessness - Springs Rescue Mission Top 10 Movies About Homelessness - Springs Rescue Mission


Now that you’re done catching up on the nominees for Best Picture — and the Oscars have officially closed out awards season — you may need some new movie recommendations.

If that’s the case, why not pair your entertainment with some education and social awareness? The films in this list are considered some of the best about homelessness (as well as relevant issues like poverty, mental health, hunger and addiction). We hope you enjoy these Top 10 Movies About Homelessness.



1. Pursuit of Happyness

2006 – PG-13 – 117 minutes – Drama, Biography

Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton

Directed by Gabriele Muccino

Life is a struggle for single father Chris Gardner. Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son find themselves alone with no place to go. Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position doesn’t pay. The pair must live in shelters and endure many hardships, but Chris refuses to give in to despair as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son.


2. The Lady in the Van

2015 – PG-13 – 104 minutes – Biography, Drama, Comedy

Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Alex Jennings

Directed by Nicholas Hytner

The true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman of uncertain origins, who `temporarily’ parked her broken-down van in writer Alan Bennett’s London driveway, and proceeded to live there for the next 15 years.


3. Time Out Of Mind

2014 – Unrated – 120 minutes – Drama

Richard Gere, Jena Malone, Ben Vereen

Directed by Oren Moverman

George seeks refuge at Bellevue Hospital, a Manhattan intake center for homeless men, where his friendship with a fellow client helps him try to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter.


4. The Public

2018 – PG-13 – 119 minutes – Drama

Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez, Taylor Schilling

Directed by Emilio Estevez

An act of civil disobedience turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.


5. The Soloist

2009 – PG-13 – 117 minutes – Drama, Biography, Music

Jamie Foxx, Catherine Keener, Robert Downey Jr.

Directed by Joe Wright

Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the rocks, and he’s disillusioned with his job. Then, while wandering through L.A.’s Skid Row, he spots a homeless man playing a two-stringed violin with a virtuoso’s skill. Lopez initially thinks of the man, named Nathaniel Ayers, as just a story idea. But as he begins to unravel the mystery of Ayers’ strange fate, Lopez realizes that a change is happening within himself.


6. The Fisher King

1991 – R – 137 minutes – Drama, Comedy, Fantasy

Robin WIlliams, Jeff Bridges, David Hyde Pierce

Directed by Terry Gilliam

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.


7. Same Kind Of Different As Me

2017 – PG-13 – 119 minutes – Biography, Drama

Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger, Jon Voight

Directed by Michael Carney

International art dealer Ron Hall must befriend a dangerous homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife, a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the journey of their lives.


8. Dark Days

2000 – Not Rated – 82 minutes – Documentary

Directed by Marc Singer

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.


9. Shelter

2014 – TV-MA – 165 minutes – Drama

Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Mackie,

Directed by Paul Bettany

Hannah and Tahir fall in love while homeless on the streets of New York. Shelter explores how they got there, and as we learn about their pasts we realize they need each other to build a future.


10. A Street Cat Named Bob

2016 – Not Rated – 103 minutes – Biography, Drama, Family

Luke Treadaway

Directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Based on the international best selling book. The true feel good story of how James Bowen, a busker and recovering drug addict, had his life transformed when he met a stray ginger cat.


* Some of these movies are not suitable for children due to profanity and graphic content. These are movies that have been included on many lists of the top movies about homelessness, and are not necessarily the recommendation of staff at Springs Rescue Mission. The information in this article was aggregated from IMDB and Wikipedia.



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About the Author - Cameron Moix

Cameron Moix is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Springs Rescue Mission. Originally from central Arkansas, he holds a BA in mass communications (print journalism emphasis) from the University of Arkansas - Little Rock. Most of his career has been spent in print journalism, including four years as a reporter for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.