I just finished reading Under the Overpass : A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America a story of two Christians who are just crazy enough to live as homeless people in six American cities for five months; fortunately, this crazy idea makes for quite a story. Mike Yankoski, a Christian college student, challenges the reader to learn about faith, identify with the poor and find “more forgotten, ruined, beautiful people than we ever imagined existed, and more reason to hope in their redemption.” The journey begins at a Denver rescue mission and ends on a California beach. Along the way, Yankoski and a friend learn the perils of poor hygiene and the secrets of panhandling. They meet unfortunates like Andrew, who squanders his musical talent to feed his drug habit, and hustlers like Jake, who gives the pair tips about how to look and sound more pitiful to get more money.
A great book to examine our views of mercy ministries (and some practical insight on how to deal with this). I had an opportunity to meet Sam (who Mike goes on this trip with) because he lives with my friend at Imago Dei in Portland.