A veteran who was once homeless is approaching the end of a 1,460-mile walk from Missoula Montana to Los Angeles California in an effort to raise awareness of the homeless in America. On his website, he says he is walking 1,460 miles because he estimates that a homeless person walks an average of 4 miles a day in search of food and shelter and by multiplying that figure over the course of a year, it’s 1,460 miles.
Stephen Millhouse, who is a former United States Marine, initially hoped to raise $1 million towards food kitchens in Montana, Idaho, Nevada and California, but hasn’t received much in donations thus far ($3,000) and has decided that raising awareness is more realistic.
Millhouse left Missoula in August and has since traveled through Idaho, Nevada and now California, less than 300 miles away from his destination in Los Angeles. He was homeless for about 6 years before receiving housing assistance from the VA and turned his life around. Millhouse, who possesses a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Bradley University, was working at a local acting theater in Missoula earlier this year when a drunk driver killed his 22-year-old niece. The trauma of this event compelled him to come up with a way to help the homeless, particularly those who served in the military.
Millhouse carries along with him a small shopping cart-like trailer that allows him to transport his sleeping bag and cooking utensils. He frequently camps out not far from the roads and highways, as well as homeless encampments and has received plenty of endorsements along the way but not much in donations. What makes his efforts even more remarkable is that he is walking with a fractured foot, suffered in Idaho and now uses a walking boot. His injury will require surgery, likely in Los Angeles and although the injury has slowed down his daily mileage, Mother Nature is currently aiding him. The weather here in California at present has been chilly overnight but ever since Thanksgiving, the days have been crystal clear with temperatures in the low 60s.
Given his injury, it isn’t likely that he will reach his destination by Christmas unless he can average over 12 miles a day. However when he does arrive, it will be interesting to hear stories of his experience and his contributions towards the issue of homelessness.