TRURO HEIGHTS - Jason McComb wakes up in the morning not knowing where he's going to lay his head the next night.
© Raissa Tetanish - Truro Daily News
Jason McComb, of St. Thomas, Ont., is walking across Canada to bring awareness to homelessness. Having been homeless himself on several occasions, McComb is hoping his walk will bring awareness, motivation and inspiration to others to make a difference.
McComb, from St. Thomas, Ont., is on a journey across Canada to raise awareness about homelessness.
"It's not a fundraising walk, it's a walk of awareness, that's also motivational and inspirational, I hope," McComb said just after checking into the Super 8 before lunchtime on Monday. "It would be wrong for me to walk through every province collecting money to bring back to Ontario to help fight the problem."
The 37-year-old operates Homeless Happens, Helping Hands in St. Thomas and is now living the homeless life.
"I have been in that situation many times over almost 21 years now, and I'm in that situation every day now with this walk," said McComb. "I am blessed to have this room (Monday night). I've slept in shelters, and I've slept in an abandoned shed, abandoned van and on the floor of an Irving truck stop. I'm going through the grinder just like anyone else in this situation."
The awareness walk, "Walking in the Free World," began at about 10 a.m. April 1 in St. Thomas. McComb walked about 320 kilometres where he then purchased a flight to St. John's, Nfld., to start the journey.
"I want to bring a better understanding to the issue and stop the discrimination and lift the stigmas. I want people to know that regardless of what someone's situation is in life, we are all worthy of life and entitled to be recognized as members of society no matter what our social status looks like," he said.
Throughout his journey, McComb has talked with many people in the same situation, and even treated a group of homeless people in Toronto to baked pies before the journey began.
"People need to know that homelessness is unnecessary and needless. While it won't be easy to end it in every situation, the potential to make an effort is in all of us.
"There is a story behind all of us, whether we are homeless, or wealthy, or whatever, and to talk about reading a book by its cover is just wrong," he said.
McComb said his awareness walk was originally planned as an eight-month walk, however, he thinks it will be almost double that time.
"I will meet anyone that is willing to listen," he said. "You can't put a time or a price on life or comfort."
When leaving Truro, McComb hopes to stop at ‘Sunnyvale Trailer Park' where the Trailer Park Boys are filming their ninth season of the popular series.
"I want to bum a cigarette off of Ricky, and sing ‘Rockin' in the Free World' by Neil Young with Bubbles," he said.
He'll then head to New Glasgow before going to Prince Edward Island.
People can follow McComb's travels through his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HomelessHappens) or homelesshappens.net.