Raising awareness of the issues with homelessness.
“Public Awareness PLUS Empathy EQUALS a Solution for Homelessness”
– Homeless Teacher, November 2014
To raise public awareness concerning the facts of homelessness so that every citizen has access to the basic needs of shelter, food, and medical care.
Homeless and Hungry, Inc. was organically born in July 2014 from overwhelming Facebook support of a Summer Reading Program I developed. I was teaching at a highly impoverished school and wanted a way to keep my Middle School Students reading and writing over the Summer. To accomplish this, I decided to go voluntarily homeless for 30 days on the streets of Orlando and blog about it on Facebook. I figured my students would learn empathy for the homeless and at the same time read and write about my experiences. Unexpectedly, in the first 10 days of my project over 120,000 people were viewing my posts! The decision to go voluntarily homeless changed my life forever. As a result of my journey, I learned that homelessness is a complex problem and very few people know the accurate facts about the issue. I completed an extensive review of every piece of available research, and what I discovered is shocking! This knowledge has now prompted me to become a full time “Homelessness Educator”. I believe public awareness and empathy for citizens who are homeless are the keys to solving the problem.
#TeamAOK (Act of Kindness) grew out of Tom’s first experience of voluntary homelessness. He has encouraged others to view the homeless with empathy and to look for ways in which to be kind. Tom’s followers frequently use the hashtag TeamAOK in their posts that point out acts of kindness while furthering the concept.