Homeless Man Uses Facebook to Advocate for Homeless

Erick Sheptock is giving voice to D.C.'s homeless population through social networking.

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Erick Sheptock is a homeless homeless advocate. An unemployed former crack addict, he uses social networking in order to give voice to a population that is often voiceless. In addition to living on the margins of society, the homeless often lack access to digital media. Sheptock has transgressed that challenge by advocating for the homeless through Facebook and other social networking sites. He has 4,548 Facebook friends, 839 Twitter followers, two blogs and an e-mail account with 1,600 unread messages. His Facebook friends and Twitter followers include policymakers, advocates for the homeless and hundreds of college students who have heard him speak on behalf of the National Coalition for the Homeless. He has so much but does not have a home, turning down employment opportunities that would infringe on his advocacy work. Nathan Rott of the Washington Post reports Sheptock saying, "Too many homeless people have come to look up to me, and I can't just walk away from them," in a recent blog post titled "Tough Choices." "My conscience won't allow it," he added. Sheptock gets paid here and there for blog posts and wouldn't have it any other way.

We're not sure what to make of Mr. Sheptock. His commitment to advocacy for the homeless is admirable, but choosing to live on the street in D.C. is something else. Whatever the case, serving as an advocate for those who need a voice is purposeful and powerful no matter how you go about it.

Read more at the Washington Post.