News / Utah / 

College student lives and blogs about homeless life

By Amanda Butterfield | Posted - Aug. 3, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.


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OREM -- A local college student has given up on dorm life and apartment life and has decided to live on the streets -- not because he has to, because he wants to.

Kurt Anderson is a 24-year-old junior majoring in history education at Utah Valley University. He has a job working with troubled youth, but with the recession he wants to live lean, and he's learning he doesn't need much to get by.

Home sweet home for Anderson is a van he bought for $250.

"I don't need to live some place, I don't need a place to stay," he said. "I don't have a lot of stuff so I moved it all in here."

He eats food right out of the can and considers himself lucky if he finds a microwave to heat it up in.

Anderson also keeps a backpack stocked with towels and a change of clothes with him always, in case he comes across a place to shower.

And, he always has his computer with him so when he comes across free Internet he can blog about his adventure.

When people find out about what Anderson is doing, their reactions are mixed.

"They are shocked. Sometimes they get a little bit mad," he said. "They see a normal person, they see I'm just a normal guy and sometimes they think I'm ruining my life, that I'm wasting my time."

Anderson sleeps outside in the park when it gets too hot, or goes up the canyon camping. All the while he still attends school, church, work and social activities.

"I am so surprised it hasn't affected my dating life at all," Anderson said.

He says most girls just laugh when they hear what he is doing -- though he's learned living on the streets is not a laughing matter.

"It's hard, it's hot, it's uncomfortable. It gets you out of your comfort zone. You meet people you would that you wouldn't ever associate with," he said.

"And it's humbling," he adds. "It's very humbling in a way."

And, he says, he loves it.

"I'm very, very happy with my life because I'm experiencing so many new things," he said.

Anderson has only been doing this since June but hopes to keep it for a year.

"It's going to get cold in the winter, and I don't know how I'm going to handle that being a Georgia boy," he said.

Anderson's parents are coming from Georgia to visit next month. They have no idea he's moved into a van, but they'll find out soon enough.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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