(WPCO DOT COM) DAYTON, Ohio – Ryan Riddell is the lead pastor at Shelter Community Church of the Nazarene in Dayton, Ohio. He has hit the streets to be “homeless” for thirty days.
“I’m sleeping in a van that’s about 80 square feet,” said Riddell.
Riddell visits his family twice a week and has a few technological comforts like a propane heater and a carbon monoxide detector.
“The bottom line here is no matter how hard I try, I’m not homeless,” he explained.
His 30 day mission is to grasp an understanding of why people end up on the streets, and how they survive. He keeps a vlog (video blog) of whom he meets during his journey.
“It’s amazing. I’m trying to use social networking as much as I can.”
Ryan uses his smart phone to shoot video and photos and uploads them to Twitter, Facebook and his website, which are all connected to one another.
“I’m trying to raise awareness that there are kids who are aging out of foster care,” Riddell said. “Sixty percent of those kids go homeless.”
People who are homeless often miss out on family functions and events. Riddell is experiencing some of that. His oldest child recently had a birthday.
While many folks who live on the streets are there because of drug addiction, mental illness, or running from the law, Pastor Riddell is there to try and understand.
“These people that are sleeping outside have a face, they have a name, and you know, they have a story,” said Riddell. “Whatever choice led them to where they’re at… man… They need a hand and help up.”
You can follow Pastor Riddell along on his mission at: http://www.30dayshomeless.tv/