In 1965 at 9 years old, Mel Hancock moved to a residential home called Happy Valley School in Pomona. This school previously resided in the Five Points area of lower Manhattan. The name Five Points evokes images of poverty, rampant crime, decadence and despair. The area was filled with dilapidated and unlivable tenement houses, gang extortion, and corrupt politicians. This was a place where all manner of crime flourished.
Originally from St. Albans, Queens, Hancock’s mother chose to place her five children in Happy Valley School after it moved to Pomona. Hancock lived at the school from the age of nine to 16.
The school closed in 1972, but every year, he gets together with alumni of Happy Valley. There are many success stories of the children that grew up there and some sad stories as well as everything in between.
Hancock, who has worked in the theater arts for over 25 years, is looking to produce a documentary about Happy Valley School and its students who once lived there.
“I will interview the students and some of the community members and get their perspective on the “HOME” in Pomona. We will explore the strong “family” connection these people formed in spite of coming from dysfunctional families or from no family at all. After meeting some of the subjects of the film, one will understand why the word “miracle” is used often to describe Happy Valley.”
Hancock is looking for funding for this film. The Happy Valley preview video seen in this article was produced and edited by Tamotion.
If you are interested email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1199224416/the-five-points-miracle-the-happy-valley-story