Homeless Are People Too

(This picture was taken by Orin Borgelt on my 5th Homeless Journey)
Saturday, September 21st I will embark on my 7th Annual 24/Hr Homeless Journey on the streets of Kansas City. I will be joined, for the first time, by Dr. Dennis Putinski, who is not only a leader at our church but a retiree who has a heart for the homeless.

I have been both criticized and praised for my efforts to raise awareness for homelessness. I specifically do it to help the Kansas City Rescue Mission as they prepare for the holiday season as well as the winter season. That is when it is really tough to be homeless, especially here in Kansas City. The criticism does sting, to be honest, I never like being criticized, but obviously I haven’t let it detour me from doing what I feel compelled to do in helping raise awareness for the homeless.

I would like to clear a few things up, to help the ‘critics’ understand better, some will never understand hence the reason they are  critical. And after that I will give you the main reason I do this every year. 

1)      “This is all a PR stunt.”

Absolutely! That is exactly what it is; I am attempting to raise PUBLIC awareness for the homeless problem in United States and Kansas City! This doesn’t do anything for me personally, or even for the church I pastor! We do not grow one bit from doing this PR stunt! We are a small church of a couple hundred people, have been a couple hundred people for many years. We do not get a single dime for this PR stunt either! It actually cost me personally to do it each year.  

2)      “You are exploiting the homeless.”

In my understanding of what it means to exploit I don’t see how we are “exploiting” anyone. I really don’t. We are not benefiting from this at all. All the benefit is to help the KC Rescue Mission, which in turn helps the homeless. And we are not treating anyone ‘unfairly’ in the process. I could understand this if I was getting something from this, other than sore feet and a crick in my neck.

     3)      “You just like being on TV.”

Yes I do, but only because I have a message I believe in! I was invited to be on a big time talk show a few years back about a stupid topic, and I declined! It was more of a Springer type talk show and the content was racy, so I declined. And if I just wanted to be on TV to be on TV, then I would be on TV a lot more often. I like TV only because it gets me in front of more people I can potentially help in some way. And lastly, when we first did this, 7 years ago now, I didn’t notify any news stations, they found out via someone else, and then they requested I send a press release every time I do it so they can run the story.

4)      “It’s not hard to live homeless for one day.”

Of course! It is not at all difficult, I have never said it was a difficult 24 hours. It’s easy really, and honestly it’s fun. Fun because of the stories we hear and the people we meet. I will do this every year until I am unable.



The bottom line for me is that I am privileged. I would be considered ‘rich’ by most of the world since I make $50,000 a year! You and I know that that doesn’t make me ‘rich’ in the way we think of being rich, but to most of the world’s population it is rich. So living homeless, even for 24 hours, gives me an opportunity to hang around people who are not privileged. People who have nothing but the clothes on their backs and the items in their grocery cart they push around. I on the other hand would need a semi-truck, or two, to hold all my stuff. And living homeless each year helps to remind me how blessed (or lucky) I really am. And how that me being blessed is not just so I can get more ‘stuff’ but so that I can help those who are less fortunate than I am. I believe we are blessed to be a blessing.


If you would like to FOLLOW my journey please do so through one of these websites or social networks.

Twitter: @TimmyKC

Instagram: TimmyGibsonKC

Personal Facebook: /Timmygibson
Church Facebook: /mercychurchKC
Website: timmygibson.com
Church Site: MercychurchKC.com