The guy pictured above is Dusty Buff. No, he’s not a retired a porn star. He’s the pastor for Grace Church Norman. If you’ve ever wanted to give Dusty some loose change, a warm coat, or yell at him “GET A JOB!!!”, this would be a good week to do so. He and an OU student are conducting a “social experiment” by pretending to be homeless for 10 days. Hopefully they don’t get stabbed while eating pizza.
From an Emma Hamblin article in the OU Daily:
An OU student and local pastor are leaving their homes and hitting the streets for ten days to gain perspective on the treatment and daily experience of the homeless.
Music education senior Philip Nguyen and Grace Church lead pastor Dustin Buff began the social experiment Sunday.
Buff and Nguyen each only took a sleeping bag, a Bible, two forms of ID, a cell phone and one change of clothes, Nguyen said.
The cell phones will be used as a safety precaution, and Buff will use his to keep in contact with his wife, Nguyen said.
Nguyen seeks to gain perspective on what it’s like to be a homeless college student who has to figure out where to eat and sleep, he said.
I’m sure this will work out well. We have a church pastor and future band teacher pretending to be homeless. It sounds like the plot from one of Brandy McDonnell’s unpublished erotica novels. At least they’ll have cell phones with them for “protection,” because you know, nothing will scare away psychotic transient meth addicts more than a cell phone they want to steal.
Actually, isn’t having a cell phone kind of cheating? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a homeless man playing a game of Words With Friends against his wife while panhandling at an intersection. In my book, when you’re 100% sober, reading the bible, and have a cell phone in your pocket, you’re not doing a good job at pretending to be homeless. It would be like competing on Survivor to help better understand what it’s like to be shipwrecked on an island.
Anyway, I hope these guys survive their social experiment and will be able to successfully exploit their entire experience at church. Not to ruin the plot, but I think they discover that accepting Jesus is the one-way ticket out of homelessness. Also, lets hope this undercover homeless operation works out a lot better than it did on Season 5 of the Wire. If we get word of a strange homeless serial killer haunting transients in Norman, we’ll know where to look.