[Hpn] Man Goes Homeless To Prove American Dream Exists

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 25 Apr 2008 17:55:00 -0400

Man Goes Homeless To Prove American Dream Exists
Adam Shepard had just graduated college when he decided to move to 
Charleston in an attempt to prove the American Dream is still alive.

Shepard had never been to Charleston, but it would become the place he'd set 
out to do what he calls his "project." His mission: to prove someone with 
nothing could make something out of themselves.

"I had twelve cities in a hat and I picked Charleston out," Shepard said. So 
after a four-hour train ride Shepard ended up in Charleston with only $25 in 
his pocket and nowhere to go.

His goal was to make money, buy a car and live in a furnished apartment. He 
decided to turn to Crisis Ministries, an organization that provides food and 
shelter to homeless people in Charleston.

"I knew that I needed a roof over my head. I knew that I needed some kind of 
help and Crisis Ministries provided that," said Shepard. who was now living 
a homeless life. No one knew his secret.

"Initially, when he came in I just thought he was another guest just like 
everybody at Crisis Ministries," said Kazia Lovendoski, who is a case 
manager at the shelter.

"Day one, I went out and worked for the labor company and for weeks I was 
doing minimal jobs, just working my way up, saving money, looking for 
opportunities," Shepard said.

Along the way, he says he met many types of people and experienced things 
he'll never forget. Shepard said he threw out all stereotypes. For 70 days, 
he spent time with people he never would have thought could be homeless.

"To see both sides, to see the guys that were just sitting there not doing 
anything, but to see guys that were really working hard. That had just hit a 
bump in the road," Shepard said.

"There are so many people that I met, that are going forward and facing that 
adversity, this story is their story," Shepard added.

Shepard's story was also turned into a book called "Scratch Beginnings." He 
just sold the rights to a big publishing company.

Shepard spoke in a Crisis Ministries fund raiser Thursday night. The 
organization is trying to raise funds for the maintenance of individual 
homes where homeless families can live with more privacy.

Crisis Ministries says with the economic downturn they have seen a spike in 
people asking for help.

William Charles Tinker,Sr.
Founded 11-28-99
New Hampshire Homeless
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.