Man goes homeless to raise awareness

November 30, 2010 10:36:19 AM PST
During this holiday season a local man is taking an unconventional path to raise awareness of the growing homelessness epidemic.The Wake County web developer says he decided to go homeless for a week.

Will Langley is spending his days working at shelters and soup kitchens and spending his nights sleeping in his car. He says he is trying to prove a point in hopes it will inspire others.

"It's all about raising awareness for these people who don't have anywhere to go tonight," Langley said. "I'm hoping to highlight the unsheltered homeless those are the homeless people who don't have a bed a lot of these people especially now given our current economic climate still have their car their last remaining asset and their ties to society and that's kind of what I'm trying to address."

Langley's taken to the streets of Raleigh, hoping his project will inspire others. He says he is doing it with only a tank of gas and $20 for the week.

"If I can, just through action, inspire someone else to take action in some small way --whether it's donating your time, some food, clothes, or just taking a walk in the park and shaking the guy's hand who's asking you for money," Langley said. "I'm just trying to humanize these people."

On Tuesday, he stopped by the Women's Shelter of Wake County to help out.

"Yesterday I was at Urban Ministries, throughout the week I'm going to be hitting Raleigh Rescue and the food bank," Langley said. "I just want to get involved and it's been really rewarding for me personally and I just hope something I do will help somebody else or at least inspire someone else to get involved themselves."

Langley says his inspiration came after a long conversation with a homeless man.

"It struck me how easy it is to completely bypass him as you wave him off and keep moving on with your day," he said.

After just one day without a home, Langley says he already sees things in a new light.

"At the very least I know annually I'm defiantly going to be volunteering as much as I can," he said.

Langley's employer is giving him the time to conduct his project, but he still has to get his work done.

He's not taking any public assistance while he's living in his car --he is not sleeping at shelters or eating at soup kitchens.

Langley wraps up his experiment on Sunday. Anyone can track his experience on his website at www.homelessfortheholidays.com.

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