...THE HOMELESS BY CHOICE TOUR STORY...
(Disclaimer: this story may sound crazy but it's true!)
After graduating from Hardin-Simmons University in May of 2009 Roy packed his personal belongings and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada for his first job as a college graduate!
Three months into his new job, Roy was notified by his employer that he only had three more months with their company and he was going to be let go! Roy was devastated by the news. He had just found a roommate and a place to live. When he asked his employer why they were terminating his position he was told; "You cannot work for us. You need to go and do what you were meant to do in life. You have three months to figure out what that might be".
For the first month Roy was very upset. He decided not to buy any furniture and slept on his roommates couch because he wasn't sure if he would stay in Vegas. One night before falling asleep he lay in the dark room staring at the ceiling. In desperation he said his prayers, "Lord what do you want from me? I thought this is what I was supposed to be doing. Please, I need some type of guidance." Shortly after he fell asleep and this is where the Homeless by Choice Tour was born!
That evening as Roy fell into a deep sleep he saw himself walking into a huge arena. It was filled with young people from all over the world, about 50,000 in number. As he entered in with a crowd of young people he was mesmerized by the energy in the arena. Everyone in the stands was filled with excitement! They were clapping and cheering but it wasn't for him. It seemed as though he was at an international conference where they were learning to fight injustices throughout the world! He recalled a band playing and singing the same words over and over again. They sang, "Come on in, come on in, together we can make a difference."
Just then he was awakened by his roommate coming home from work. Roy sprang to his feet and shared the dream with his roommate. His roommate Nick stared at him with a confused look on his face. Roy began packing his backpack when his roommate finally asked, "Where are you going? It’s 5 am". Roy said, "I have to go work… I know what I have to do! I have to do a tour"! He left that morning and sat at a Denny's diner. It was over several pots of coffee that the MyBag, MyHome: Homeless by Choice Tour was created!
...THE 1ST MISSION...
Roy decided that he would live homeless for the second time in his life. This time he would be "Homeless by Choice". His mission would be to reach out to as many young people as possible. He wanted to inspire them not to give up on life, their dreams, and understand the value of a higher education. What began as a 6 month journey of sharing his personal message of hope became a 2 1/2 year mission. Roy was able to complete his tour in May of 2012 only after giving 518 presentations, and sharing his message with over 108,000 students, educators, and parents across the country and abroad..
Roy reaches over 5,000 students in Santa Ana, CA!