About the documentary: You can be part of a project that will transform hearts and minds by helping people see the humanity and value in those who have been incarcerated and those who have struggled with substance use disorders. The documentary emphasizes hope and the possibilities of recovery and restorative solutions through a powerful story of healing, innovation, and growth -- set against the current challenges and highest-ever levels of overdoses recently reported.
18 million Americans suffer from untreated addictions to substances, many in plain sight, impacting families, communities, and society. Half of the 2 million Americans who are incarcerated struggle with these substance use disorders. There is hope: restorative pathways can end the cycles of pain and damage to themselves and their communities, and shift biases that downplay their human dignity and potential for healing. Our 501(c)3 nonprofit, OneStepHope, is in pre-production for a new documentary which tells a moving, uplifting, and powerful story of individual, family, community, and societal transformation.
If you had witnessed Kara Nelson - hurting, angry, hopeless, addicted - while she served time for multiple felony convictions, it would not have seemed likely that she would become a hope-filled activist bringing innovative, restorative solutions to the worlds of recovery and criminal legal system reform. After 15+ years of battling substance use disorders, abusive relationships, and hard living, there were not indications that she could become a voice of hope and healing for the broken. Today, she is a powerful force for on-the-ground solutions that are helping people and communities rebuild. She has advised local, state, and national leaders on restorative policies and legislation. A personal awakening and experience with unconditional love transformed her life and her family. Restoration healed estranged relationships, caused her religiously upright father - previously uncaring for the incarcerated and addicted - to change careers and become a prison chaplain, and gave her an unswerving passion to serve those who remain unseen and unaware of who they can be.
Kara’s story is a beautiful reminder of the power of love and faith that fights for the broken no matter how hard it gets, first seen in those who fought for her. It also demonstrates how individuals from different political persuasions and world-views can come together to create solutions that rebuild individuals, communities, and systems, one life at a time.
Our documentary will highlight Kara's personal story, her transformative mentoring work with hundreds of Alaskans, her role in innovative solutions, and her advocacy policy reform. It will feature interviews with others who have seen radical transformation in their lives through Kara, a current U.S. Senator, state leaders, and many others who have played a role in innovative solutions and policy reforms.
Hope for individuals, families, and communities affected by substance use disorders, incarceration, and associated challenges lies in restorative solutions. But change in hearts and minds is where it all starts. We aim to be a part of shifting perceptions and conversations beyond those who already have an interest in these topics through distribution of the documentary via film festivals, faith communities, and other channels. Our approach is rooted in research on messages shown to decrease stigma around substance use disorders.
DonationsSee top donations
- Julio Chow-Gamboa
- Linda Trimble
- Jay Butler