Stephenson Co. man shares his experiences while homeless - – Rockford’s News Leader

Stephenson Co. man shares his experiences while homeless


Five days since saying goodbye to his wife and daughters, a Stephenson county man sends a message, by living other people's struggles.

We told you last Sunday about Dean Wright, and now bring you an update on his learning experience.

Dean works with homeless men women and families through the Freeport Area Church Cooperative. As a way to relate better to the people he serves, and hopefully tell their story to others, he's chosen to be homeless for ten days. "It's not easy, it really is not. It's tiring," he said.

Last Monday, he began sleeping at locations homeless populations generally stay.

His first night, he struggled with the weather, managing only a few hours of sleep."Fifteen degrees on the temperature, somebody told me wind chill was about zero, I'm not sure if it was, but I hacked it out here till about two in the morning under a bridge and I had to get up and move around, it was just too cold."

For food, he allows himself to spend only $6.50 each day, the average amount a homeless person has using a Link card.

Not only is buying things to eat an experience, he says so is just going into the supermarket. "There was actually three people in the grocery store who knew me and I knew and for the life of them would not make eye contact with me," said Dean.

Now halfway through his ordeal, his time spent homeless has been an eye opener. "I think sometimes maybe people think 'Oh if they would just get a job or if they would do this or do that', it sounds good, but when you're actually out there you haven't brushed your teeth in five days or combed your hair, that kind of stuff, and you're tired. It can be de-motivating."

Staying true to his promise, Dean has not showered or brushed his teeth since Monday.

"I don't carry a toothbrush or toothpaste with me, that's typically not a lot do, you can't buy them on a Link card.

Another harsh reality of homelessness.

Wright is documenting his experiences through video blogging. He uploads the videos to his Facebook page and onto Youtube.

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