IMPACT
11/20/2014 04:58 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Homeless Man's Day In The Life Video Challenges Stereotypes Of Those Living On The Street

Sandy Shook said he doesn't abuse alcohol or narcotics -- he does, however, claim to have studied the Russian language while in Moscow and holds a degree in computer science.

"I like to keep up with what's going on in the Ukraine," Shook said after leaving a library, explaining its Internet service had been slow that day.

Shook, a homeless man living in Austin, Texas, was the focus of Joseph Costello's most recent YouTube video, which has been viewed more than 150,000 times. The footage -- captured when Costello allowed Shook to use his camera for a day -- shows what life is like for Shook, who slept in a makeshift shelter made out of cardboard and duct tape, and was thrilled to simply have dry socks to wear.

In response to viewers hoping to help, Costello launched a GoFundMe page to give Shook a hand up. Costello hopes to raise enough funds to reconnect Shook with his family and then help him find a job.

As of Thursday afternoon, the page had raised more than $1,000 from 77 supporters.

As RT pointed out, Shook's story challenges discriminatory stigmas that homeless people often face. While Shook didn't specify what events led him into homelessness, he claimed his experiences with a religious organization years ago left him with emotional damage he still struggles to overcome today.

"Looking at myself on camera -- I've gotten a lot older than what I thought I was," Shook explains to viewers before going to bed. "Age sneaks up on you. Time slides by. Don't let opportunities slide by, because they're gone forever."

While Austin has nearly 2,000 homeless individuals, according to a 2014 survey by the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), the city has seen success in recent years combating the crisis. This year's study marked the fourth consecutive one that reflected a declining number of homeless residents in the Texas capital, KUT News reported. And in October, Austin joined a growing list of American cities vowing to end veteran homelessness by the end of next year -- a nationwide initiative that was put in motion by first lady Michelle Obama in June.

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Man, 90, Arrested For Feeding Homeless
CONVERSATIONS