Kilgore College instructor says living on streets helped effort to open outreach center
POSTED: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 10:33am
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 10:44am
AUSTIN, Texas — When Gus LaFosse told people he wanted to start an outreach program for the homeless in Longview, he was told he couldn’t succeed because he didn’t understand what it meant to live on the streets.
His perspective changed when he chose to become homeless, joining a man he’d met previously who lived on the streets of Shreveport.
“He (Dale) said you don’t know what it’s like to be homeless,” LaFosse said. “You’ll never know what it’s like to be homeless until you’ve been homeless for yourself.”
LaFosse, 33, said Dale jokingly invited him to come live with him, but said the man was shocked when LaFosse took him up on his offer.
“He thought I was crazy, and everybody thought I was crazy,” LaFosse said. “So I moved under the Murphy Street bridge, and I spent a week on the street. And that week completely changed the way I thought about my whole life and homelessness.”
LaFosse had been hired to teach at Kilgore College, but said he had a week before he had to be at the college.
During his time living under the Shreveport bridge in summer 2011, LaFosse said he read, visited with other homeless people and wrote about his own experiences without the comfort of a roof over his head.
Read more from the Longview News-Journal.