In Out in the Cold, director J.D. O’Brien and his friend John Koepke leave the comfort of their own homes to spend a week of Minnesota winter sleeping either on the streets or in homeless shelters as an opportunity to create experiential empathy with those who truly have to live without stable housing. While they were out there, they met a lot of people who taught them what it takes to survive without shelter, and how to maintain hope during challenging times in their lives. Interviews with over a dozen of them are featured in the film. Some had been on the streets for most of their lives; others were out there for their very first night.
During J.D. and John’s week on the streets, they experienced exhaustion, fear, and even hypothermia, but they also experienced hope, generosity, and got to meet some wonderful people and organizations working to end chronic homelessness. This film is for anyone who is willing to strip away their stereotypes about homelessness, and anyone who has struggled to find hope in challenging times.