Teacher Thomas Rebman is spending 30 days homeless this summer. He describes what it’s like. He is doing this as a project for his students.
Teachers do all kinds of things during the summer break.
Travel, get a second job or just relax.
But one Orange County teacher is using his summer break to see what is like to be homeless.
For 30 days, Thomas Rebman said he will live on the streets just like any other homeless person in Central Florida.
The full-time teacher is doing this for a few reasons; Rebman said he is raising money for students to get more computers in his classrooms and raise money for the homeless.
He also wants to raise public awareness and keep his students reading and writing this summer – by encouraging them to follow and interact with his blog.
Rebman said, “It’s definitely not going to be fun. I can’t imagine what it is going to be like. But the bright side is no matter what I endure. Even if I don’t raise a nickel I will understand what it is like to help these people more.”
Rebman will only take his cell phone, identification and the clothes on his back when he begins his voyage tonight at Lake Eola after the fireworks.
If you want to follow Rebman’s journey online you can do so by following the updates on his facebook page.
Criminals, threats and fear – that’s what an Orange County teacher is encountering this summer.
Instead of taking a trip or relaxing, Thomas Rebman is spending his summer vacation living as a homeless person to gain insight into what it’s like on our streets.
Rebman has spent time helping the homeless for years, but he said nothing could have prepared him for living as a homeless person.
“Emotionally, I can’t even describe to you how horrible you feel,” Rebman said.
News 13 first introduced you to Rebman two weeks ago. He’s been living on the streets since then.
He has given plasma to make money, slept in shelters or on the streets, and finds food where he can.
Rebman said he woke up with another man’s hand in his pocket, witnessed drug deals, and has felt threatened.
“I literally had to run from three gentlemen and that happened on Orange Blossom Trail,” said Rebman.
But the hardest part is not the fear or finding food and shelter.
“The big issue is how you are treated. It amazes me the things people do and say every day,” said Rebman.
The Orange County teacher came up with this as a way to teach his students about homelessness.
It’s snowballed and now thousands of people are following him on Facebook. He wants them to have a better understanding of what it’s like to be homeless.
“so when a stupid law gets passed, they are actually informed enough to be upset,” Rebman said.
He gives nightly updates on his Facebook page.
“I’ve met a lot of good people, now I’ve met a lot of people that are smoking K-2 or shooting heroin or any of those things too, but the stereotype that they are all that way is far from true,” said Rebman.
He hopes this effort will give insight into the community and provide to the men and women living on the streets.
He said, “I do have a life after this. I have an end. They don’t.”
Thomas said he’s raising money for students to get more computers in his classrooms and raise money for the homeless.