A man decided to take a three-week-long break from work to live on the streets as a homeless person. When he shared his idea with his wife and colleagues for the first time, they thought he was crazy.
The man wanted to experience what homeless people felt living without a roof on their heads. To do so, he took a three-month-long break from his job.
People around the 47-year-old man believed he was crazy. They couldn't understand why he wanted to live among the homeless.
The Redditor revealed that he was a millionaire who chose to spend three months as a homeless person to see what it felt like living on the streets. He shared that he wasn't a millionaire since birth.
He started working in a coal mine with his father when he was twelve, besides going to school. With his savings, he rented an apartment and worked two jobs while studying in college.
OP (Original Poster) took seven years to graduate since he worked two jobs. He believed he would get a high-paying job with his degree, but things took a different turn. Most interviewers rejected him because of his poor communication and reading skills.
Most recruiters rejected OP | Source: Unsplash
After being interviewed at a tech company, he was told they would call him in a week or so. Annoyed by hearing the same response every time, OP asked the interviewer to connect him to the sales team lead.
He admitted he was "obsessed" with what had happened to them.
He met the team lead and convinced him to hire him, then surprised everyone by becoming the highest-earning account executive within three months. A year later, the company promoted him to manage a team of five employees.
OP worked hard at his new office | Source: Unsplash
Eight years later, the company gave him another promotion, offering him his dream salary. He gifted his parents the expensive stuff they always wished for and believed this was the right time to set foot on a new journey in life. He explained:
"I got a house and married the woman who had been beside me all along. Life was as high as it could be."
OP shared that he had worked hard to become a millionaire, but at the age of 47, he wanted to experience life as a homeless person.
He married the woman he loved | Source: Unsplash
OP's decision was triggered by Hurricane Katrine, which destroyed millions of homes in the country. The idea of living among the homeless struck him because he sympathized with the people who lost their homes.
He believed spending time with the homeless would make him understand what they went through. He admitted he was "obsessed" with what had happened to them. He explained:
"Me and my wife went to New Orleans about a year after Katrina and just drove around the streets scared of the people around us."
The hurricane had destroyed many houses | Source: Unsplash
The visit made him feel bad about becoming a millionaire when other people had to go through so much in their lives. He felt terrible that they had suddenly lost their wealth.
After returning, he started working more at his office to be able to take a three-month break. His coworkers thought he was struck by a mid-life crisis, while his wife thought he was nuts. He explained:
"This simply was not true, I felt like the greatest learning experience I could have would be to truly know whats its like to have nothing."
He worked more so he could take a three-month break from work | Source: Unsplash
When he finally planned on visiting NOLA, his wife booked a hotel room for him for three months, but he refused to stay there. Instead, he stayed at the French Quarter, spending most of his time with the homeless people.
However, things took a different turn when he got sick living on the streets. They had to rush him to the hospital because he couldn't bear the cold. After learning what he was up to, the hospital ran a few psychological tests.
When he was later declared medically fit, he continued his mission. He confessed he met "some of the most interesting people" while living on the streets.
He met many interesting people while living on the streets | Source: Unsplash
OP shared that those 90 days of his life taught him some valuable lessons. He learned what it felt like to stand in line for shelter. He experienced how people hustled for every meal of their day or felt the cold breeze on their faces while sleeping on a bench. He added:
"I learned what it was like to give compassion and share stories with people who I would generally avoid in any other point in my life."
After reading OP's post, many people asked why he didn't donate money to help homeless people instead. OP responded by saying he felt spending time with them was better than just doling out money.
Many Redditors asked OP why he didn't donate money instead | Source: Unsplash
Robial asked OP if the shelter he was living at was full, to which he replied it was. The user then questioned how he would feel knowing he took a spot from someone who actually deserved it. He felt OP could have donated money to the shelter instead of living there.
"I was made to move many times for loitering, generally I was always trying to sleep when this happened."
OP shared he had to move many times | Source: Unsplash
OP confessed the police were friendly to him, but they did give him a curious look upon discovering that his license was from another state. When they asked him what he was doing in a different state, he told them he had just "ended up here."
skoorbevad asked OP if he had ever thought about writing a book based on his experiences and donating part of the sales to a shelter.
OP replied that he wasn't great at writing, but he had other plans of helping people. He was looking forward to starting a foundation to support children who don't have enough resources to go to college. He also planned on starting a scholarship program for underprivileged children.
Most users praised OP for helping and sympathizing with the homeless.
OP planned on supporting underprivileged children who wanted to go to college | Source: Unsplash
Questions to Ponder:
Would you donate money instead of living in a shelter if you were OP?
OP believed spending time with the homeless was better than donating money. However, some people might disagree and say the money could help the homeless in multiple ways compared to spending time with them, which would only fulfill OP. What would you do if you were in OP's place?
Do you think OP did the right thing by risking his health to experience living among the homeless?
OP ended up in the hospital after spending a few nights on the streets. Despite getting sick, he continued living among the homeless. Some people might think he made a foolish decision but others may also shrug this off as part of the experience. What's your take on this?
If you enjoyed reading this article, you might like this one about an old lady who always gave money to the same beggar at a traffic signal despite her lack of wealth, but she stopped one day.
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