From Riches to Rags: My Direct Approach to Solving Homelessness and How I Got My Ass Kicked
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I spent a year attempting to solve homelessness as a 23 year old recent college graduate. Inspired by the Jesuit ideals ingrained in me through my Catholic education, I pulled the homeless off the streets to live with them and attempted to help them get jobs. However, balancing my days in corporate America and my nights with the homeless created frequent conflicts. More
I’ve volunteered at soup kitchens
and homeless shelters, but it was never enough. Right after I
graduated from Georgetown University, I landed a job
at a top consulting firm and finally had the resources to do something extreme.
I spent months hanging out in homeless camps in an effort to devise the perfect strategy. All the while I was laying the foundations for one of the greatest deceptions since General Patton's D-Day surprise during World War II. Well, maybe not Patton, but close. I readily changed my image to suit my double life as both a successful corporate consultant and an impoverished Baltimorean ghetto dweller.
Without the knowledge of my coworkers, parents, or landlord, I set out to a street corner and brought a homeless couple, Cheryl and Paul, home. Our adventures were set in a small house, inconveniently rented from a hotheaded cop, in a West Baltimore ghetto. It was a dangerous life and an even more dangerous neighborhood, so I took precautions. Every day in the depths of an underground parking garage, I disguised myself in baggy pants and a torn hoodie. I stored all my suits, and other clothing staples in my cubicle, much to the disapproval of management.
However, all the trouble was worth it. Together with Cheryl and Paul and I had an awe inspiring adventure. One day we would drink beers with Jimmy the rapist and the next we would dine with priests. Some nights I snuck them into corporate seats at the baseball games, while other nights we drank out of paper bags on our stoop. We talked, shared our lives, and broke bread together. We depended on each other to make it to the next day and learned how to become a family.
Read this true story and learn how difficult it is to break the cycle of homelessness.
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