From homelessness to PhD

Published 18 April 2013  |  

The man who founded and runs New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter was once homeless himself.

However, in 2006, Joy Junction Founder and CEO Jeremy Reynalds completed an earned doctorate in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles.

The British-born Reynalds shares his fascinating story in his newest book, "A Sheltered Life."

It tells that how after coming to America from Britain at age 20 (where he had lived a very "sheltered" life), Reynalds became homeless through unfortunate circumstances, then went on to found one of one of the Southwest's largest homeless shelters.

Reynalds reminds readers that even relatively affluent people can sometimes be just a few steps away from homelessness, and that everyone needs to have compassion on all homeless people regardless of their status.

"Homelessness is a tragedy," Reynalds said. "Most times when driving through downtown Albuquerque, I see a parade of people pushing shopping carts or toting what looks like backbreaking backpacks. Each of us is responsible to do whatever we can to help the needy."

In addition to Reynalds' story, "A Sheltered Life" also tells the stories of a number of individuals assisted by Joy Junction.

With no government funding, Joy Junction shelters as many as 300 people each night, and with meals served on its mobile feeding unit "The Lifeline of Hope," serves more than 16,000 meals a month.

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