Brian has been homeless for years. He gave up his apartment in 2010 and spends his nights crashing in other peoples' homes.
"In June, 2010, I moved out of my apartment,” says Brian Chesky, who stated,
"I have been mostly
homeless ever since."
What you might not know about Brian, is that he is the co-founder of AirBnB and, according to Forbes, has a net worth of well over $3 billion.
What Brian might not know about being homeless is his definition varies greatly from those who are actually homeless.
Every night, when Brian can choose to stay in any one of 160 million homes in 65,000 cities in 190 countries, there are 8,000 people in Toronto living on the street or in city shelters.
There are 8,000 people awake at all hours of the night because they cannot sleep due to the noise of others or the threat of being beaten and robbed. There are 8,000 people who could have gone to bed hungry and are unsure if they will eat tomorrow.
A client of Haven Toronto named Robert, once homeless, recently spoke about the pride of having a place to call home. Robert also spoke of the associated challenges, financially.
Robert said, “It’s almost easier to stay in a shelter where your meals are covered. I enjoy the privacy and security of my own place but I struggle with the cost of furnishing it, keeping up with the bills and paying for food.”
“Once, between homes, the items I had stored away, things like pots and pans and cups and silverware, were all thrown out.” adds Robert. “Someone saw them as junk. To me, they were essentials. I had pay to replace them. That’s money I could have used to buy a meal, pay a phone bill.”
That’s a part of homelessness that Mr. Chesky might not understand when it comes to being “mostly homeless.”