Shelter Documentary

From Vice Documentary Films, executive producer Michael K. Williams (The Wire) and the Peabody award-winning Renaud Brothers, SHELTER tells the raw and emotional stories of our brave young people as they seek help and hope at Covenant House.

The film has been screened at several major festivals (Rome, Big Sky, San Francisco) and won a special jury prize and an audience award for best documentary at the New Orleans Film Festival.

Already Seen the Film?

Scroll down for “where are they now” updates on our youth that were featured.

Taylor has succeeded in her personal battle with heroin. This spring, she completed her GED (HiSET). Best of all: Taylor recently reconciled with her parents.

Rafael is now addiction free after battling severe alcoholism. He works at the Aquarium – and has moved into his own apartment.

Shortly after the filming, Tiesha and her son Tommie moved in with her sister in New Orleans East. We have offered further assistance if needed.

Matthew graduated from Liberty’s Kitchen, landed a job, and moved into his own apartment. He often drops by to scan his drawings, which can be purchased here.

Patrick is stable and much more at peace. He’s living in a supportive housing program for those suffering from mental health issues.

Dashea began working with a tutor and is now working on her GED (HiSET) degree. She recently started a new job and is expecting her 2nd daughter very soon.

We had not seen Daniel for some time… until he walked through our front door again seeking our help finding a job. He now lives with his girlfriend in Chalmette.

Our staff helped Brandon resume his meds – to the point that his father took him back in. He is doing much better and works part-time staffing major events.

Raven works at a trendy restaurant in the Quarter and has her own apartment. She came by to show us her new drivers’ license… under gender is listed the letter “F.”

Elizabeth was taking her medications and had moved into her own apartment with her newborn child, Georgia. Unfortunately, we lost track of her… *Please click here for a more recent update! (July 2021)

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Hope Reigns Despite An Uneven Playing Field

“SHELTER gives a raw, unfiltered view into the lives of those who call Covenant House New Orleans home. As editor Peter Finney Jr. writes, the scenes too often, ‘manifested the cultural malfeasance that should shame the mighty but too often instead shames the victim.'”


Humanizing Damaged, Forgotten Youth

“Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud joined Salon to break down his latest film, ‘Shelter,’ a new feature-length documentary (airing on Vice) that takes on the devastating realities of homeless youth in New Orleans”


“Shelter” Takes an Unflinching Look at New Orleans’ Homeless Youth

“If a child leaves, we take them back. If they leave again, we take them back. Because if not us, who? And if not now, when?”


New Orleans Homeless Youth Featured in Vice Documentary 

“Tears stream down Elizabeth’s face as she tells the camera how tough it is to pull herself out of homelessness. She draws on a piece of notebook paper and takes stock of her surroundings: A dorm room in Covenant House…”


The Filmmakers Behind Youth Homelessness Documentary ‘SHELTER’ Hope Their Film Inspires Action

“Award-winning filmmakers Craig and Brent Renaud want their new VICE documentary to give visibility to a population which is too often ignored.”


‘SHELTER’ Highlights the Fight to End America’s Youth Homelessness Crisis

“In VICE’s new documentary, we journey to New Orleans to speak with the staff and residents of Covenant House, America’s largest non-profit shelter, to issue an urgent call to action to address the plight of homeless youth.”


What It’s Like to Rebound as a Young, Homeless Mother

“With affordable housing facing a crunch, it’s harder than ever for young families to cope. Still, some find the support they need.”


Former Homeless Youth Share How They Were Able to Get Back on Their Feet

“As youth homelessness continues to rise, former residents of Covenant House shelters tell us it’s more important than ever to support organizations helping get kids off the streets.”


Half a Million People Experience Homelessness Every Night in the US, But That Number is Changing

“Here are the most effective organizations fighting to end teen homelessness worldwide.”


Ways Everyday People Can Take Action on America’s Homelessness Crisis Right Now

“Want to make the world a better place? Here are a few immediate ways to help the most vulnerable among us.”


Thousands of Homeless Children in Honduras Now Have a Place to Call Home

“Casa Alianza tries to shelter and protect the helpless in a place that seems designed, at almost every social level, to obstruct them.”


Watch the Trailer for Documentary on New Orleans Covenant House

“Vice Documentary Films has released a trailer for the New Orleans-shot “Shelter,” which follows the paths of several homeless youth seeking services from Covenant House on Rampart Street, just above the French Quarter.”