The heartbreaking issue of homelessness continues to impact our country. Many of us have come to the point where we’ve learned to overlook the people living on the street.

Mike Yankoski wondered what it was really like to be homeless, and so he voluntarily chose to live as a homeless man in six different cities across the U.S. over the course of five months. He joins us to relate the story, detailed in his book .

We learn about the reality of homelessness — and also find effective ways to respond. Here’s where our conversation takes us:

Mike encapsulates his time on the streets by saying that people basically treated him like garbage. He journeyed to six different cities with his friend Sam and lived the life of a homeless man. He explains what he felt being told, essentially, that he did not matter.

During this time, he found new meaning in the parable of the good Samaritan.  Mike was brought face to face with the gap between what he was proclaiming and how he was living out his faith day to day. He was surprised to find many of his assumptions shattered by the people and situations he encountered.

We reflect on the demographics of the city, and the ministries and outreaches that are serving the homeless. Mike talks about his experience with sleeping shelters, acquiring food and transportation.

He reflects on the common question of whether or not you should donate cash to someone clearly in need who asks for it.

We fast forward the conversation to today. Mike is working on a PHD in physical ethics and asking the question, “How should we live as Christians?” So how did his answer to that big question transform during his time on the streets?

Highlight: A gift of food

Caring for the homeless