DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas youth pastor will live as a homeless person for the next 30 days as part of a quest to find answers about the human spirit.
Leon Reyes was dropped off today in downtown Dallas with nothing but an empty backpack, the clothes he had on and a hand-held digital recorder. The young husband and father is not carrying any money with him. He has left his identification and cell phone behind. He will live on the streets of Dallas for the next thirty days.
He says that he wants to learn more about people, how they work and operate. Reyes says he also wants to see how great of a struggle it is to maintain hope when you have nothing.
“A big reason why I am doing this, too is because my childhood experience was really rough. My dad was homeless and controlled by substance,” says Reyes. “He was telling me last night everything that could possibly go wrong and what he went through. It freaked me out; I’m not going to lie.”
Reyes spoke with KRLD’s Emily Trube on his way to his drop off location
Reyes says that he has decided that he will drop out of the experiment if he feels his life is in danger. He says that he has arranged to meet with friends at specific times at specific places so they can check on him. Those friends will also be taking pictures of Reyes and posting them to Twitter with #haveyouseenleon.
Reyes’ wife Lauren has launched a blog by the same name.
KRLD will be checking on him as well.
His hope is to come away from the experience a better person and a better minister. Reyes says he plans on sharing what he learns with municipal officials about the effectiveness of the current non-profit and city programs for the homeless.
“My dad told me,” says Reyes, “If you can make it fifteen days, it will be a miracle.”