‘Life-changing’: Comedian undertakes 800km homeless challenge
AN IRISH comedian who spent Christmas sleeping rough in California has described it as a lifechanging event and the best experience of his life.
Francis Cronin, originally from Templeogue in Dublin but living in the US for the past four years, set himself the challenge of walking 500 miles (800km) from San Francisco with nothing but a sleeping bag and a goal to reach Los Angeles. It is all in the name of Homeless Health Los Angeles, which opened the Irishman’s eyes to the horrors of homelessness in one of the wealthiest cities in America.
But while raising money for the charity is at the core of Francis’s motivation, the reward from the first 15 days of his journey has been the sense of fulfilment he feels while braving the elements and sleeping on the streets.
“This will probably be the best Christmas I’ve ever had,” he said.
“While I missed the turkey physically, mentally I was rewarded elsewhere. I would say I’ve never experienced this overwhelming feeling of positivity and I can’t really describe it.
“Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are a little bit over-hyped, especially when you’re just trying to find a place to sleep at night.”
Following a huge outpouring of support having documented the first 115 miles on social media, he is more determined than ever to complete his goal.
“A woman sent me an email to say she was volunteering in a homeless shelter which she has never done before in her life,” he said.
“It’s quite an emotional roller-coaster to be accidentally having this kind of influence and it really is bigger than me.”
Rewarding: Francis Cronin en route from San Francisco to Los Angeles