This is an inspiring story with all the ingredients for a movie based on true events down the line. Francis Cronin, an Irish Comedian is walking from San Francisco to LA and sleeping rough along the way to raise awareness for homelessness. When Cronin finally arrives in LA after this gruelling journey, his first point of call is the set of the Ellen DeGeneres show. Just to put into perspective how much of a challenge this is, Cronin is walking 500 miles.
The NUIG graduate has been living in LA since 2014. In an interview with the DailyMail.com, Cronin described his motivation for this epic journey, aptly entitled Rough Set, as some of the things he observed while living in LA.
'Since living in LA I’ve seen some of my friends suffer from the ravages of drug addiction and homelessness. Also I like an adventure so I thought why not do some good while doing something I love?'
Through this epic journey, Cronin is encouraging people to donate to his chosen charity the Homeless Health Care Los Angeles by setting up a GoFundMe page. His actions are raising something far more valuable than money. By documenting sleeping rough and how strangers interact with him along the way he is raising awareness and giving a voice to the homeless. His tales of strangers who help along his travels are heartwarming but not all encounters with people along the way are positive.
These 2 complete strangers are now friends for life.They reached out on IG & offered me a shower & to help we with my laundry @moizilla & Yesenia.I’m powered up for another few miles & a 2nd night sleeping rough.Words can’t express what this means to my soul. #RoughSet #gratitude pic.twitter.com/L22XKDMcaZ
— Francis Cronin (@GLOWPUNK) December 17, 2018
His story has also caught the interest of celebrities. No Kim and Kayne did not offer up their shower but fellow Irish funnyman Chris O’ Dowd tweeted his support for the cause.
Hey @kanyewest @KimKardashian @KylieJenner @KrisJenner @KevinHart4real @justinbieber @MileyCyrus @kenjeong . I’ll be walking thru Calabasas next week. Can I grab a shower in your house . It’s in aid of Homeless Health Care Los Angeles @TheHHCLA . https://t.co/tYT1bksvEM RT pic.twitter.com/pvhAyEE23v
— Francis Cronin (@GLOWPUNK) January 17, 2019
So far Cronin has raised over $15,000 for the worthy cause.
— Francis Cronin (@GLOWPUNK) January 23, 2019
Cronin's adventures have been far from all laughs. The ex-soldier is no stranger to challenging conditions. In a social post, he makes reference to this saying he has experienced a lot of mental and physical hardship as a soldier but he describes not knowing where you are going to sleep and being alone outside in a populated area as a true mind melter. In his last social post dated this morning, Cronin was up to 35 days with no shelter.
“It’s been tougher than I ever thought, 'The psychological is harder than the physical. How the world treats you when they perceive you as homeless and an outsider is tough.”
Francis, we applaud you! As the gap between the rich and poor widens globally, homelessness has reached crisis levels. People are also becoming desensitised to the issue. Following his story makes you stop and think about the person and their story rather than simply walking past people in the street like they don't exist.
We will keep our readers updated on his journey and when he reaches his final destination The Elen Degeneres Show. If anyone would like to donate to the Rough Set cause visit the GoFundMe page.