In this video series, titled “The Invisibles,” Oklahoma Watch profiles individuals whose quiet struggles in life reflect some of the larger issues facing the state. The series is made possible by a sponsorship from the Chickasaw Nation.
Out of Prison and Reconstructing a Life
Every month, hundreds of Oklahoma inmates who’ve served their time are released from prisons across the state – often given bus fare and sent back to the communities from which they came. But rebuilding a life is challenging. In this video, Robin Wertz, who spent years in prison, talks about her experiences and how, as site director at Exodus House in Oklahoma City, she helps former inmates re-integrate into society.
Videography by Ilea Shutler. Produced by David Fritze.
On the Streets, Bedding Down in the Cold
Fewer people in Oklahoma City are homeless, according to the latest counts. But more spend the nights without shelter, even in winter. So Oklahoma Watch asked those on the streets, “Where do you sleep?”
Videography and production by Mashiur Rahaman.
Parents Again, Caring for Children of the Addicted
Oklahoma’s high rate of drug addiction has taken a heavy toll on families, including grandparents and great grandparents. In Dedra Ray’s case, her granddaughter’s drug addiction left Ray to spend retirement raising her great granddaughter.
Videography by Mashiur Rahaman and Whitney Bryen. Production by Whitney Bryen.
Aging Out of Foster Care, Confronting the Unknown
Months after his 18th birthday, Joshua Hoaks uses his experience in foster care to face the future. He represents the many young people in Oklahoma whose families tumbled into crisis and lost custody of their children, not to regain them before they reached 18 and aged out of the foster system. According to the Chronicle of Social Change, Oklahoma is one of only three states that doesn’t offer extended care for foster kids who become young adults.
Videography by Mashuir Rahaman and Whitney Bryen. Production by Whitney Bryen.