Homeless by Choice? Could You do it?
When he was 14, Roy was rendered homeless along with his younger sister, Danielle and his baby brother, "Baby" Ray. Homelessness is a serious issue to face as an adult, but for a teen and his siblings, it must have felt like a personal hell.
Roy is currently living homeless by choice to make an impact on today's youth by touring our nation to speak to more than 100,000 youth. Roy has been homeless for more than two years now. He has been couch surfing in each city that he visits to share his story of overcoming homelessness and forgiving those of his family members who rendered him and his siblings, homeless.
Roy's message to the youth of America in his "Homeless by Choice Tour," is to never give up on your dreams and to love those who don't love you back. Roy once told me personally, "Ray, it is easy to love the ones who love you. "But, the question Ray is can you love the ones who don't love you back?" He told me that he has had to learn that over the past 15 years or so how to love those who don't love you back. He also said that, “forgiveness is the real answer to that question."
Wow, what a great message to carry to the youth of America a message of never giving up on your dreams and to forgive those who have hurt you. Roy called me on Wednesday of this week and shared his latest numbers on his goal of reaching over 100,000 youth and they were very positive numbers. He has now reached over 70,000 of America's youth by traveling in his car from city to city. The other part of Roy's story is pretty Extraordinary... he is doing all of this pro bono.
In the 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress - July 2009 it reads, "According to CoC application data, on a single night in January 2007, there were 671,888 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide. At this point in time, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s homeless population (63 percent or 423,400 persons) were individuals and more than one-third (37 percent or 248,500 persons) were persons in families. Among all homeless persons, almost 6 in 10 persons (or 58 percent) were sleeping in an emergency shelter or transitional housing facility, and the rest were sleeping on the streets or in other places not meant for human habitation. Shelter status, however, varies among household types."
Homelessness is a crisis in this country and should not be this big of a problem. If you don't think that homelessness is a problem, try telling Roy that and he will tell you different. Of course the homeless are not all homeless for the same reasons, but that doesn't give us the right to ignore them and their story.
Report to Congress is found at: http://www.hudhre.info/
Find an interview with Roy Juarez Jr. at: http://www.kmr-
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KMR-Media is the radio network that produces and broadcasts the radio program, Ordinary People Extraordinary Planet. Ordinary People sharing unparalleled Extraordinary stories - Ordinary People making an Extraordinary difference in the lives of others.
Page Updated Last on: Oct 14, 2011