Teacher will be homeless for 30 days
|By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
No money. No food. Not even a toothbrush.
"And the phone and charger are only to post updates," he vowed. "I won't be calling or texting. If my wife wants to find out how I'm doing, she can follow the updates on Facebook like everyone else."
If it sounds extreme, Rebman, 53, says that's the point.
"Most people have no idea who the homeless are," Rebman said. "There's a homeless camp near where I live by the
"They're not the old stereotype of drug addicts and criminals. They're the working poor."
Rebman, a reading teacher at
Any money donated -- and Rebman hopes the campaign will go viral -- will be divided among the
"He is quite passionate, and I know all his students will be following him through this experience," said
"Most people who sign up are enthusiastic at first, but pretty soon they start to lose interest, and soon you never see them again," Sciascia said. "He was there every day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and he'd actually develop lesson plans at night and bring in all these ideas and materials."
He also brought food -- not just to his students in need, but also to low-income seniors and homeless families. He has met plenty of the latter in the past two years. Still, Sciascia said, "I wonder if he really knows what he's getting into."
Though he has been contemplating the 30-day homeless venture for a year, he said, he purposefully left details unscripted. A pack-a-day smoker, he vows only to have cigarettes if he can bum or earn them. He doesn't know where he'll spend his first night -- or, for that matter, any night after that. He won't use his connections, his credit cards or his health insurance.
"Unless it's life-threatening, I'm going to live exactly as a homeless person would," said Rebman, a retired
That's partly why he picked perhaps the most miserable month of the year to live outdoors in
"This guy's got guts -- I'll give him that," said
"I think just the fact that he'll be spending so much time with the people out there will change his opinion of why people are homeless," Bailey said. "I have found that they are homeless almost entirely for circumstances beyond their control, and I think that's not easy to see until you get close to them."
[email protected] or 407-420-5503407-420-5503. To follow Rebman's journey, go to his Facebook page, Homeless and Hungry, or follow him on Twitter at @HungrynHomeless.
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