It’s Stories Like These That Really Inspire Positive Change In The
Can you imagine not coming home every evening to your own space? We often take our living spaces
for granted, forgetting that so many people don’t have the same luxuries as we do.
In industrialized nations, the homeless tend to be overlooked, thanks to the presence
of affluence and social classes. These hierarchal structures have a unique ability to separate us, encouraging us to compete with one another and focus on our individual wants rather than the needs
of the collective.
It’s estimated that more
than half a million people are forcibly homeless on any given night in America. They have nowhere to go, and cities have nowhere to put them, because there simply aren’t enough safe shelters to satisfy demand.
In order to develop a greater understanding of what it’s like to be homeless,
the Mayor of Salt Lake County, Utah, Ben McAdams, spent three days (two nights) living on the streets. According to the Mayor, his experience was “shocking.”
Salt Lake Mayor Learns What It’s Like to Be Homeless
McAdams’ social experiment took place on March 24, when he left his office to embark
on his three-day journey living on the streets. Clearly his experience happened months ago, but it’s only coming out now because he tried to keep it under wraps, not wanting it to seem like a “publicity stunt in the face of
His first night was spent sleeping literally on the streets, because he wanted to
further understand why someone would choose to sleep on the street rather than in a shelter. It was raining and extremely cold, given that it was mid-March.
“It was cold — below 40s,” McAdams explained. “You wonder why people would choose to do that,
knowing that there were beds available in the shelter.”
Well, they certainly got their answers when they visited a shelter the second night,
as it was filled with drugs and violence. Shelters aren’t like hotels — you don’t get the comfort of privacy. McAdams allegedly watched someone in the same dorm room inject drugs into his
arm, and witnessed a fight, too.
“I don’t want to focus on my brief firsthand experience because I know there are
people who see the same and worse every single day,” he said. “The things I saw in my very brief time were shocking and reaffirmed my commitment to take action