Roberts pushing for change

Joe Roberts is pushing a cart across Canada to change youth homelessness.

The Push For Change wheeled through Vernon Friday to help homeless youth.

Joe Roberts started pushing a shopping cart across Canada on May 1, 2016 in St. John, Newfoundland to raise awareness and money to end youth homelessness.

Roberts had a rough start in life with a house filled with addiction, mental health issues, and family violence and conflict, which led him to leave home too early at 15.

“By the time I was 19, I was deeply involved in drugs,” said Roberts, who was joined by Rob Cook as they stopped in Vernon Friday.

As a former homeless youth, Roberts uses his knowledge and his past to push the cart for change.

“Once homelessness happens, it’s really difficult to get out of it,” said Roberts.

Roberts lived under a bridge as a homeless skid row addict, but luckily, his mother helped him by flying him to Ontario to start a new life, where he became a successful entrepreneur.

“My early 20s, you could see me pushing around a shopping cart around the east-side of Vancouver,” said Roberts.

Throughout this journey, The Push for Change will raise awareness and funds by engaging with more than 400 schools and communities.

The journey is 17 months long, and Roberts will walk 24km every day, 9,000km in total. Along with the Vernon visit, Roberts stopped in Kelowna Monday before heading to Vancouver Island and then reaching his final destination Sept. 30, in Vancouver.

For more details on The Push for Change visit their website thepushforchange.com.