72 Hours & Collaboration

Over the last week, I have received calls from all over: L.A., New York, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, and a few other states. Many people from these states are talking about possible collaborative efforts, and wanted to know how #lovebeyondwalls could come to those states to help raise awareness.

Although we are pacing ourselves here in the city of Atlanta, I learned something very important about homelessness (in my 72 Hours), what it will take to combat it, how we can help those who are living on the streets without any resources or means, and what it will take to raise awareness across this country about this epidemic.

It takes collaboration! It takes an army of people banded together taking #lovebeyondwalls to make a difference in this sensitive area. Why? Because homelessness is a vast issue. There are many causes for homelessness in the United States: Addiction, Poverty, Job-loss, Foreclosures, Mental health, Lack of affordable housing, Domestic Violence, and a host of other social issues.

n6KjYIunBY-6_vjceLV505TD-_YOsR9hHYyx0EPoh3MIn fact, a stat shows that out of the 300+ million people that live in the United States 3.5 million of those people are expected to be homeless each year (stat taken from homeaid.org). This isn’t something a few organizations, or a couple people passing out sandwiches can handle alone. This epidemic will take people from all sorts of industries, churches, faith communities, backgrounds, and neighborhoods to come up with solutions to this problem (and work together not individually). Will it be easy? No. But, it will have to start in the trenches (grassroots), and expand nationally.

It’s just as my IG friend Arkeedah McCormick says, “Collaboration is truly amazing! You get to meet, listen, and engage with many individuals and hear their stories.”

Collaboration will do three things:

1) Create strength. Unity is a powerful tool, and has the ability to provide strength to any movement or cause.

2) Create resources. No one person or organization has all the resources, but through collaboration and unity strength and resources appear.

3) Create a voice. When people band together to take #lovebeyondwalls, the voiceless are heard, and their issues are discussed.

In 2014, #lovebeyondwalls will partner with people from all over to make a difference, and raise more awareness about homelessness in the city of Atlanta, and in the United States. If you are reading this, and would like to partner contact us [HERE].

A few days ago, #lovebeyondwalls mobilized 300+ people to resource people with food, clothes, and other items to survive on the streets in downtown Atlanta. It took collaboration!

Check out the video showing the collaborative efforts below:

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Five Questions You Must Ask Yourself!

This morning, I’m reflecting on what made me take the step toward going homeless to raise awareness… Believe it or not, it was a list of five questions I asked myself concerning my purpose and direction. I asked myself these questions to gain clarity, and narrow in on what I feel God was calling me to (my area of service)!

Are you searching for clarity when it comes to direction in life? Below are five simple questions you can ask yourself that will push you to think deeply and reflect about where you are headed and what you should get involved in.

  1. Where am I? (This will cause you to reflect on the realities of where you are)
  2. Where am I going? (This will cause you to reflect on your desired destination)
  3. Do I have a map? (This will cause you to reflect on what steps are needed to get to where you are going)
  4. Whose going with me? (This will cause you think about what people are needed to mentor, guide, and support you on the journey)
  5. When do I start? (This will cause you to set a start date & time on when you will take the first step(s) toward where you’d rather be)


If you are to continue gaining clarity about your life’s direction, you’ll have to wrestle with these questions at various places and seasons in your life. Why? Because questioning causes you to gain more clarity, and God uses clarity to direct paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

By thinking deeply about these questions, not only was #lovebeyondwalls born, but my focus areas and passions where made clear.

I’m not raising awareness for myself, I have chosen to raise awareness to help others. When I die, I want to leave this earth knowing I did not consume, but gave!



72 Hours & Last Pair of Socks

This morning, I am inspired to try to raise support for my friends in downtown Atlanta who are homeless. Why? It’s simple. When I gave up my life to live with them for three days, I purposely did not take anything. I wanted to wear their shoes first-hand and experience all that they experienced (AND I DID). While out there, my shoes and socks got wet because it rained one night.

It was horrible because it is winter time, and it made my feet feel like little popsicles (because of the strong winds). Could you imagine being in 30 degree weather without socks (or with wet socks)?

My homeless friend Tony saw my problem, went into his tent, and gave me his last pair of new socks someone donated to him. “How are you going to get some more socks?” I asked. He smiled and said, “I don’t know, I’ll figure something out.”

Did I mention that this same guy has HIV, and has not had medication in two months because his former state has not transferred his records (story for a later blog)? I shed tears with this brother, am inspired by this brother, and want to do all I can to get him and others socks and medication.

Not only was I humbled, but I was blown away at his genoristy, selflessness, and humility. It took courage to give out of nothingness, and even more courage to be strong for me when he said, “I am dying…”  

It reminds me of a parable by Jesus told in the scriptures (Luke 10) about the Good Samaritan who helped the man who fell on hard times (only I was the man who had fallen, and my homeless friend was the Samaritan).

Isn’t it amazing that we all have the potential to be Jesus to each other? Isn’t it amazing that we all have the power to be equals in Christ? My friend became Jesus to me as the Samaritan did the guy who had fallen.

With this being said, I need your help raising 5K pairs of socks. #lovebeyondwalls wants to provide socks for all of the men and women who may be on the streets right now with no socks in the winter time.

Here’s three simple ways you can help (we are calling this #project5K):

1) Call me (Terence) directly to meet you… My number is 404-955-8033

2) Give on this site, or

3) Drop socks off at either one of the locations found on the flyer below:



72 Hours & A bunch of No's

I’m having a bit of a struggle processing all that I experienced while living on the streets for three days…

Mean mugs, getting put out of places, being talked down to, being viewed as an animal, being rejected repeatedly, people looking at you like you are strange, hearing awful statements thrown at you like rocks from people walking down the street, and workers in shelters treating you poorly (people who are supposed to care)…

“Get out of my way, and get a job…” Some random guy told me.

“Hell no, I’m not going to give your lazy ass nothing…” A woman screamed.

“All of you all smell…” This young corporate executive yelled.

“Let’s cross the street…” A lady said as we were approaching their group.

All these words and more felt like NO’S!!!!

2013-12-24 21.11.17-2Could you imagine not only being down, but being stepped on constantly and reminded that you are less than (an outcast even…)? Well, I believe that’s how the homeless feel. Not all of them have drug problems, steal, or are mentally ill. Most of them are decent people (and have big hearts).

How are you supposed to climb out of a ditch of homelessness when everything (including the system) reminds you that you can’t and that you don’t belong?

The second night, I was put out of a homeless shelter lobby when trying to charge my phone. I asked the worker, “Can I please charge my phone, it’s cold outside (40 degrees)..I need to have it on for safety…”

The man ripped my phone out of the wall, and told me “Get out now…I don’t want to tell your ass again…If you have a problem with it…take it up with the white man (excuse the language I’m not racist). Don’t look at me, I’m just doing my job.”

However, I persisted, “Sir, could I please charge my phone…It’s cold and I have no where else to go.”

He looked at me, and said the most hurtful statement I believe any homeless person could hear. He said, “Don’t get mad at me because of the life you are living…”

What if I was just down on my luck and was homeless temporarily?

What if I lost my home in a fire?

What if I wasn’t a drug addict or had a mental health illness?

What if I were really trying to get off the streets?

All the rejecting moments above screamed NO!!!!!

2013-12-24 22.08.24-1That one worker and many others I encountered treated me and my friends like trash, and it hurt. Why? Because I have friends that are homeless, and there is no hope in rejection, being viewed as the scum of the earth, or being treated like an animal.

Today, I blog to release the hurt, and share that I am going to do all I can to raise awareness through #lovebeyondwalls and do my best to find my friends some help to get them off the streets.

Below is a video taken from one of my homeless friends sharing about homeless people,

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I ask that you give [HERE] to help this organization raise more awareness about these awful injustices.


72 hours & I Began to Trust Again

(It’s about 3AM)

I haven’t been off of the streets a full 24 hours yet, but for some reason I miss them (yes, the streets). Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Only thing is…I’m not making it up.

2013-12-23 19.49.03-2While out there, I felt safe, embraced, a sense of community, and protected.

In fact, If I can be completely transparent–being among many of my homeless friends who started to consider me as family caused me to do something I have not been able to do in years–TRUST (If you have been through hell relationally, you can relate).

I found it extremely easy to let my guard down without being reserved, having fear, being introverted, or even defensive.

The first day I arrived, I did not have anything: No blankets. No toothpaste. No jacket. No brush. Not change of clothes. No money. No direction. Nothing. The only thing I did have was my cell for protection (and storytelling). You can read my posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

However, my homeless friends provided me with everything! When I walked up on the hill at tent-city (under I-20 75/85), I was approached by three brothers and a sister.

“I’m here to stay with you all, and I don’t have anything. I want to experience what you experience and share with the world on your behalf. I want to give you a voice… I said.

Immediately, I was greeted, given instructions, and each of my homeless friends rallied together supplies so I would make it through the nights of 30 & 40 degree weather. They gave me a blankets, socks, food, and sat and talked with me for hours about how they ended up under the bridge.

We shed tears, laughed, sang, and talked about God all day and most of the night. They showed me the ropes (how to live, where to go, and what to do) Immediately, my walls came down. I began to trust! Why? Here’s three quick reasons

1) They accepted me as their family. Not only did my homeless friends help me to survive, they called me “family,” and displayed it with their actions. I have had relationships in “regular” society for years, and have not heard those words or experienced that type of genuine love in years.

2) They opened up their community to me. I have been in affluent spaces, in diverse spaces, in uppity spaces, but the community I felt among them was like none other. It was a closeness that can’t be described with words. They shared everything they had with me (and they had nothing). Without them, I wouldn’t have completed my journey…

3) They opened up to me. They shared their most personal stories with me, talked about their faith in God, and listened to many stories of mine. It was the best experience. Sometimes, not only is it hard to get people to open up in normal society, but it is even more difficult to get people to listen to you. They did both…

Also, they shared, “no minister, or person has ever dared to wear our shoes and live with us… We have people come and leave all the time, but not stay and experience….Because you are doing this…you have our respect.” they all said.

I don’t know why it was so easy to believe them and trust them, but it was… And, not only did they keep their word–they protected/encouraged me until I made it through.

The first day it rained, was cold, and I survived with resources given to me by my homeless friends. I kept thinking to myself,

“This is the part of society that is looked at strange, but has the most heart. I have met people with “means” in normal society with much status, but would not sacrifice the way they did (and they have nothing).”

Not only were my stereotypes destroyed, but I was educated, had on their shoes, and my heart broke with even more compassion for our brothers and sisters without homes in Atlanta (and the nation).

I wish I could go back and rescue many of the people who I established relationships with…

I wish I could give some of them jobs…

I wish I could take them off of the streets and give many of them second chances…

I wish I had an army of people who would unite with #lovebeyondwalls to make this happen…

From the first day forward (for the rest of my life), I made a declaration and promise to God to raise tons and tons and tons and tons of awareness to help my “new” family and other homeless people in this country. That’s why I am going to go hard to build this organization. There are many social ills plaguing our society, and #lovebeyondwalls is needed in those places.

The first day, not only did I encourage them, but they changed me. They cause me to learn how to trust again!!!!

Below are a few pictures of items that were given to me the first night I slept under the bridge:

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The Homeless Journey Starts!

Today is the day my journey starts… View the video below and see what three things you can do to help me raise awareness!

I ask that you join our movement, and spread the story.


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Movement of Doers!


I got a chance to see forty plus people to take the love of God to the streets, and serve the homeless population in downtown Atlanta. How cool is that? I’ll answer–very cool. We were able to clock over 80 volunteer hours of service (loving on people).

I’ve been asked, “Why are you approaching ministry and non-profit work this way?” My answer is simple. Because I have a different scorecard. I don’t measure dollars, budgets, or people in seats, I measure mobilization, contact work, and feet on the ground (doing the actual work).

Why feet on the ground? Take a quick look at a community we served yesterday, and a picture of a new friend I met named Robert (That’s why).

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Picture of me and Robert

MeandRobertI envision #lovebeyondwalls being a collaborative movement of doers, not talkers…

A movement of people who band together from all walks of life to take the love of God to places, people, and problems that exist in the world. No fluff. That’s what we are about.

Below is a picture of all the people who banded together to serve yesterday…










Last Day & After My Experience

For some reason, I got up extra early this morning and sat in my home office at (4AM)…

I can’t sleep… I keep thinking about my comfort… my safety… my home… all the things we have… and my family. Starting tomorrow evening, I won’t have any of it again until Christmas morning. While most people will be spending quality time with their families, eating up a storm, and doing last minute shopping–I’ll be homeless on purpose!

Yesterday, I received a phone call from a friend (Enrique Morgan). He said, “I’ve been following your journey via social media and wanted to know, “What are the top things you are looking to do with this experience?” “What will be next?” Immediately, I lit up with joy and passion. I said, “I’m glad you asked bro…there are four specific things I’m looking to do with my experiences.”

Below are my next steps:

1) Gain the experience to articulate. I want to gain an understanding of what our homeless brothers and sisters have to go through, and see life from their perspective and through their lens. It’s one thing to pass out food, clothes, or say a couple of prayers, but it is a totally different experience when a person wears the shoes of another. That’s what Christ did, and that’s what I want to do. Additionally, I want to experience this in my adulthood so I can clearly articulate my thoughts, feelings, and share with the world what I learn and see.

2) Advocacy & Work. I want to be able to write, advocate, speak out, and raise awareness about the homeless stories in the city of Atlanta and across this country. I want to become a voice not only about the epidemic, but to educate others or rebut any false storertypes that may exist.

3) Fundraise & Give. I want to raise support, build #lovebeyondwalls, and give toward other organizations, faith-based communities, and people working in the trenches with this population. Doing work in the trenches is not easy. It requires outside support, prayer, and tons of trust and faith in God. By raising support, I’d be able to do more work among “vulnerable people,” and also resource others at the same time. If you want to give, click the image and help us launch #lovebeyondwalls

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 5.08.00 AM

4) Spread. Lastly, I want to spread a message of hope, and mobilize people to get involved to do missional work in vulnerable places. Also, I’d like to spread a message of contentment. Society tells us that you must be the best, have the most toys, or climb to the top to be great. That’s all wrong. You can be a great person, and be worthy with less. You don’t have to have it all to be great. I want to share a message that says, “No matter where you are, enjoy all that you have. There is always someone with less…” I will not tell people to be complacent, but content. Complacency has to do with accepting that status quo, but contentment has to do with embracing where you are with gladness and joy.

Next year (2014), I am devoting a whole year to the work of justice and education. These are two things I firmly believe in, and where I believe God wants me to start with #lovebeyondwalls.

I ask that you pray for me as I get ready to do the most daring thing I have ever attempted… Pray that I return home safe to my family, that I build relationships while out there, and that God uses this story to restore dignity back to people who feel like they are on the bottom. I ask that you spread the story and the experiences I’ll capture while out there.

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Lastly, I am spending the last day with my family and meditating on two thoughts. One written by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

The other from my five year old daughter who came to me last night and said,

“Dad, I want you to be safe, and make sure you make it back before you miss Santa!” (LOL).



2 Days & Homeless Students

I have had 100’s of conversations with so many people now about going homeless, and have been asked questions like,

“Is this an organization strictly for the homeless?

“What other work do you do?”

“How can I get involved?”

Well, here’s the short answer… To be honest, I’m going homeless for more causes than one. I’m going homeless to raise awareness about homelessness, but also to raise awareness about another “silent epidemic” that’s going on in the state of GA and in other places among students (whose families may be homeless or live in transitional housing).

If fact, Did you know, “The fastest growing group of homeless people is children under 9 years of age.” (stat taken from Atlanta Metro Task Force for the Homeless)

Did you know there were children that sit in schools across this country whose families are homeless (It may not be as visible, but still exists)?

Did you know that either poverty or homelessness has caused a silent “uniform crisis among under-resourced students in Elementary Schools around the United States of America?

What crisis you’re probably wondering?

Let me explain. For the last twelve years, I have spoken in many environments (in colleges, schools, churches, businesses, for sororities, in penal systems, for fraternities, at government functions, etc), but most of the engagements have been in title 1 schools.

Why? Because I traveled sharing my personal story of life-change with youth and students and many opportunities came from schools with students who needed a little inspiration. I traveled hoping to redirect some young person before they reached a dead end. You can grab my first autobiography on amazon [here] in case you want to know what story.

But, while doing work in elementary schools (mainly title 1), I noticed that many children were wearing uniforms that had holes, were not washed, or they did not have on adequate attire (then principals and community liaisons confirm my suspicions).

I then learned that many title 1 schools have families that make less than 15K per year, and cannot afford to buy new uniforms for their children (some even live in transitional housing, or motels–not ALL families, but enough to catch my attention).

This broke my heart! Why? Because I can relate (if you grew up with hard times you can too).

It also broke my heart because I know that when a child goes to school and their attire is poor it messes with their self-esteem (causing them not to connect with the lesson). Now, imagine being homeless, having social problems at the house, not having adequate attire, and then you are asked to learn (sometimes that’s hard if your mind is filled with other junk).

What could I do I thought? How could I help students like this and more have fresh uniforms that would possibly boost their self-esteem (helping them connect with the lesson)?

Then it clicked. Go homeless…raise awareness… and provide….Uniforms of Hope.”

I can partner with schools across this country and raise support to resource under-resourced students with uniforms so they would have adequate attire to wear to school through #lovebeyondwalls.

Well, it is becoming a realty! One month ago, we partnered with a major uniform supplier to make a special uniform with our heart on the sleeve.

Here’s our first sample:


Why on the sleeve? Because the heart informs educators, students, and families that there is an army of people out in the world that care about students and believe in their educational future. A #lovebeyondwalls army!

How does it work? I’m glad you asked.

1) When a person donates $15-$20, that person starts the process to receive one of our branded shirts that says, “GIVE LOVE AWAY

2) From there, our manufacture creates a “Uniform of Hope” for a student in need.

3) Our manufacturer then ships the uniform (free of charge) to one of the ten schools we are partnered with to resource a child that I described a little earlier (aiming to get more schools).

4) Lastly, an exclusive branded #lovebeyondwalls shirt is printed and sent to the donor for their donation.

Here’s our diagram of how it works:

Slide 7.0

So, do you want to help us resource students yet? If so, donate and let’s resource 1K students starting in January (that’s 100 uniforms for ten schools)! We are calling this #projecthope.

Today, as I prep myself even more…not only am I thinking about my homeless friends in downtown Atlanta, I am thinking about students across this country (and the fastest growing population of homeless people in the US).

Donate 1




3 Days & 27 Degrees

Last night… I tossed, turned, and could not get any sleep! Why? Simple. The temperature dropped down to 27 degrees last night… In fact, I walked out to the truck, and it said “ICE” on the dashboard. The very thought that I’ll be in shelters, outside, and roaming the streets during my homeless journey is becoming more of a reality!

Don’t believe me about the temperature, check out google’s thoughts at 5 AM this morning,

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 5.51.59 AM





This week has been taxing already (working tons of hours, working on this organization, and trying to prepare my mind for this journey). I have been praying, talking to folks, and frequently visiting spots in Atlanta where some of my homeless friends sleep to keep my mind focused and stay encouraged.

Even with all that, I still felt like pulling the plug at various times.  BUT, I have made up my mind to persevere!  I am determined to keep going forward regardless what the weather, circumstances, or anything else has to say…

Where is this perserverance coming from? I’m glad you asked. It comes from three specific places:

1) Calling. I believe deep within my soul that God has not only called me to live for God, but has also called me to reach, uplift, and inspire people to Trust God and live their lives fearless! The most frustrating place in life is being in a place where you don’t get a chance to do or be who you were created to be… There is no life in that at all. And guess what, we only have ONE life to live!

2) My family. My wife & kids are the closest thing to me (literally). My wife is my number one supporter, and my children are very close to me. Every day I have come home from a long days work (leading up to this). Their smiles, words, and belief in me fuels me to keep going. My wife @cecilialester literally told me last night, “This is what you are created to do, and regardless of where this leads…I believe in you…Keep going!”

You can’t go wrong with support like that!

3) A Book. Noooooooo…. not the Bible (although I do read it, and am a believer). But a book I came across some time ago called, One Month To Live by Kerry & Chris Shook. The premise of the book is life-changing! It focuses on the fragelty of life, and pushes the reader to think about the limited time (we ALL have) on earth. One quote in particualar that has pushed me this week is this,

“Your time on earth is limited… No matter how much this idea makes you squirm, it’s a fact. No matter who you are, how young or old, what measure of success you’ve attained, or where you live, morality remains the great equalizer. With each tick of the clock, a moment of your life is behind you. Even as you read this paragraph, seconds passed that you can never regain. Your days are numbered, and each one that passes is gone forever.”

The authors then go on to say that when we pass away (or die), the dash on our tombstones will represent what we did one earth while alive. With that being said, I keep asking myself, “Terence, what will be your dash?” “Will you live an average life, or will you live to help others live?”

These words alone are life-changing, and why I am perservering with the homeless journey and launching #lovebeyondwalls Jan 1, 2014.  I want to literally start a movement of people who come together to serve communities, people, and model what Christ modeled in the scriptures. I want to raise awareness about an epidemic that is near and dear to my heart! I believe the greatest sermons happen when you live your faith…not preach it. 

But, let me ask you a few questions…

Now that you know the clock is ticking, what will you try? What will you pick back up? What will you do to make the world better? How will you restore your relationship with God? How will you persevere?

Why do I ask? Simple. Because as you continue living, you’ll find out quickly that the greatest things in life are often forfeited for things that don’t matter at all. I refuse to live that way anymore! I am three days away from doing the most daring thing I have ever attempted, and I need your prayers, support, and for your to spread this mission!