"Gimme Shelter" is Coming to a Theater Near You

Gimme Shelter
(Photo : Several Sources Shelters/ Roadside Attractions/Day 28 Films)
Gimme Shelter
Years ago, Kathy DiFiore was a suburban wife and mother with a dark secret -- she was being abused by her husband. Escaping meant not just leaving everything behind, but also being homeless and on the street. As she got back on her feet, reclaiming her life, she discovered a burning desire to help others turn their lives around. In 1981, she turned her home into a shelter for un-wed, pregnant women to help give them a fresh start and their babies a chance at life. In turn, the State of New Jersey raided her house and fined her $10,000 for running an illegal boarding house. Kathy tried to show the government that she was running a shelter, not a boarding house but legislation that would have exempted her from boarding house laws fell through when (then) Governor Tom Kean said he would veto it because most people didn't have the kind of heart that Kathy does. As a devout Catholic, she did the only thing she knew do do ... pray. She heard a voice that said "Contact Mother Teresa" and since she knew someone who worked at Mother Teresa's soup kitchen, she asked him to help her contact the nun. Mother Teresa got on board and eventually, she and the Governor went head-to-head. Mother Teresa won.

One woman's home grew to become Several Sources Shelters. The non-profit, which now has five shelters, a pregnancy clinic and a scholarship program, has saved over 20,000 babies in the 30+ years it's been in existence. And to tell its story, Several Sources Shelters has teamed up with Roadside Attractions and Day 28 films to create a major motion picture, Gimme Shelter, which shares the real-life, David-and-Goliath story.

Award-winning filmmaker Ronald Krauss produced and directed the film. He also wrote the movie’s original screenplay while spending a year in one of the Several Sources shelters. Gimme Shelter centers on a 16-year-old pregnant teenager, Agnes "Apple" Bailey, who runs away from her drug-abusing mother to find a better life of her own. When her Wall Street father won't help, Apple is forced into a life on the streets. Gimme Shelter will hit theaters nationwide on January 24, 2014.

In a press release, Ronald Krauss talked about Kathy DiFiore, Mother Teresa and the shelters, saying, "Together they fought the state and managed to change the law. Now she runs five shelters in New Jersey that give people a chance to get back on their feet by providing them with education and helping them get jobs. Her shelters are run 100 percent on donations, without any public funding, for 35 years now."

DiFiore’s work has far-reaching consequences, explained Vanessa Hudgens, who plays Apple in the movie, and hopes the movie will serve to spread the word more widely. "It will remind young women that they have choices," she said. "And when we see someone like Kathy doing a great job serving others, we should recognize and honor them. We’re all in this together and when we embrace that we begin to come together as a community."

Kathy DiFiore's passion has been recognized by dignitaries around the world and she was honored by President Reagan at the White House in 1988. The UN has also hailed her as a champion, naming Several Sources as a Non Governmental Organization of the U.N. in 1999. The revolutionary impact of her work and ministry has impacted hundreds of thousands of women and their babies and her faith-inspired testimony continues to offer compassion and share hope.

"Through God's Grace, we save babies' lives and shelter their young mothers while providing education and ongoing compassionate support services including our Pregnancy Sonogram Center. We further educate young people to make healthy life choices. We also shelter women who are homeless, sick and elderly as we help them to restore their dignity," said DiFiore. "Women who go against the tide and have their baby become that child’s hero. It comes down to their choices, but it’s not always an easy road. Many of them are forced to leave their family and turn to a shelter. I can't help but admire them. They are changing the 'culture of death' into a culture of life and I want to help them have a better life."

Gimee Shelter Cast:

  • Vanessa Hudgens as Apple Bailey
  • Rosario Dawson as June Bailey
  • Carlos Alvarez as Maple Bailey
  • Brendan Fraser as Tom Fitzpatrick
  • James Earl Jones as Father McCarthy
  • Ann Dowd as Kathy DiFiore

Tags : Christian Movie

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