Fighting Homelessness, One Person At A Time | Baltimore , Maryland | ABC 2 News
In a city of more than 600, 000 people, it’s not out of the ordinary to Baltimore ’s homeless walking the streets, gathered in familiar spots or huddled on a bench, trying to sleep with the noise of the day all around.
It’s become such a part of our routine, many of us never really see them anymore. However, Matt Bjonerud refuses to accept this practice as the norm.
“When you’re homeless. it’s extremely hard to get out,” he said. “And I’m determined to end homelessness forever.”
A 2007 graduate of Georgetown, Bjonerud took a job in banking and moved to Baltimore. But in 2008, he set off on a new mission far away from his suit and tie high rise career. To meet homelessness head on, he chose to live among West Baltimore’s most destitute for a year.
” I can’t believe i went through this routine every day,” he said. “I had a torn hoodie, baggie pants worn over my suit pants, and I’d walk with a limp. I think people found me less threatening.”
Bjonerud also rented a West Baltimore row home, taking in a homeless couple he called Paul and Lydia. He withheld the couple’s real names for personal reasons.
“The point of the house was to be a springboard,” he said. “It wasn’t someplace to hang out and just become a couch potato.”
Among their responsibilities, Paul and Lydia were in charge of providing food while Bjonerud managed the rent and utilities. He also credited his Catholic education for his inspiration for helping others. “The Jesuit motto is to be a man for others,” he said.
via ABC 2 News