Actor and Comedian Walks 500 Miles, Sleeps Outside to Fight Homelessness
Irish actor and comedian Francis Cronin is walking from San Francisco to L.A., and sleeping rough.
To highlight the needs of homeless people, Irish actor and comedian Francis Cronin is traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles, one small step at a time.
He's raising money for a Southern California charity on L.A.'s Skid Row, and he's sleeping outside on each night of his long journey, which has thus far lasted four weeks.
"By putting myself out there, I'm trying to reframe how people see the person in the street," he told InsideEdition.com. He's making an impression, he said, even though it's on a decidedly small canvas.
Some sent an email saying they could no longer look the same way at a homeless person scavenging from a trash bin because they were now aware that it could be Cronin out on the street.
"People know it exists. People see the problem right in front of them every day they can't look at it because it's too much of a reflection on humanity, and how bad [we've gotten] in terms of taking care of our weakest citizens," he said.
He arrived in the U.S. four years ago from Dublin and has been "hiding out in Hollywood doing a little stand-up and a little acting," he said. He's completed a handful of films including "The Boys," "Super High" and "Happy Camper," according the IMDb website.
The former army soldier is armed with a backpack, a waterproof sleeping bag and a cellphone. He started out 28 days ago and has fallen far behind schedule thanks to some health issues including getting sick, having having problems with one of his eyes and legs. He has about 180 miles to go.
"I've met some beautiful people who are really struggling," he said. "It's a lot worse out there for people who are truly homeless than a lot of people would think. I'm only scratching the surface of it here, and it's already nearly broken me."
Cronin set out walking and sleeping rough because homelessness and drugs have permeated his circle of friends and relatives. He is asking for donations to Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles, which runs a needle exchange program and center that offers showers and help to get back into mainstream life.
He also has a GoFundMe page to take donations for a "Rough Set" pilot from his journey.
"The idea that people are out there long term, with no support system, no family, nobody checking on them. ... It's too dark to imagine the despair they feel on a daily basis," Cronin said. "I'm not trying to be the big man on campus, I'm just trying to make a small, Francis-Cronin-sized dent in the homeless problem."
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