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Russellville man chooses homelessness for a good cause | News

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Russellville man chooses homelessness for a good cause

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- The cold weather and rain are making the first week of the new year difficult for the homeless here in Arkansas.

This time of year shelters make more room so they have a warm meal and safe place to stay.

But not everyone is taking that shelter.

"This is actually one of the better camps to come into honestly," said Fred Teague as he walked towards the small hut he lives in in the woods of Russellville.

There's a saying that you don't know another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes.

"Sorry I didn't know you guys were coming or I would've cleaned up," he said laughing as he opened the door to the 32-square-foot room.

But to see into Fred Teague's situation all you need to do is listen.

"I haven't had a shower in five days," he said. "And so basically I'm wiping myself down with baby wipes."

Since New Year's he's been living in 32-square feet accompanied by a bag of clothes and a 100-watt heater

"Basically tonight we don't have a meal coming in so I'm going to have to cook a can of soup or eat a cold can of soup," he continued.

But Fred is living like this not out of necessity, but choice.

"I just checked my phone and it says it's 25 degrees out here right now," Fred says in a YouTube video he uploaded on Tuesday. "Today this is just a thirty day thing for me. But today is day four. It's reality for our friends."

In reality Fred is an appliance repairman who owns a party rental company, but after dealing closely with Russellville's homeless population for the last three years he wanted to experience what they do.

"I want people to realize that homeless people are people who are trying," he said.

Fred plans to live in the homeless camp for the next month. Working his job to provide for his family, but staying in the woods, with only the food he can muster up from the local mission.

He's also trying to get sponsored so he can improve the camps around town he now calls home

"I mean it's a reality for a lot of our friends," he elaborated.

Interesting what can happen, when you don't walk a mile in someone else's shoes but instead live a month.

You can follow Fred's progress on YouTube and Facebook through his video blogs.