• Wed, Oct 2 - 10:20 am ET

Poverty Tourism Itinerary Begins And Ends With Being An A-Hole

homeless poverty tour

If you had a few days free and $2,000 to spend, you could have a pretty nice vacation almost anywhere. You could go to New York or Las Vegas, scuba dive in Florida, drink in Aspen. You would be very lucky and very privileged to have that opportunity. You know what would be a good thing to do with that privilege? Not use it to cosplay a homeless person for a few days.

The guy behind Cannabis Tourism—which doesn’t sound like such a bad idea—has come up with possibly the most offensive way to take a $2,000 vacation ever: Poverty tourism.

For $2,000, not including travel costs, 44-year-old Seattle native Mike Momany will help you experience “a minimalist lifestyle” and “explore the gritty underbelly of Seattle” by having you live like a homeless person for a few days, during which you will take advantage of limited resources that are intended to go to actual homeless people, not privileged tourists.

According to Momany’s website, your Sub-Urban Adventure itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: You will get a homeless makeover and a homeless nickname, so no one will know who you are when you start touring “homeless gathering spots.” You will visit several places full of homeless people on your first day. Your day ends at 7 p.m. when you check into your homeless shelter.

Day 2: You have to leave the shelter at 7 a.m., so you and Momany will go get some coffee and continue visiting homeless hangouts and talking to homeless people. “You might have enough chutzpah to try your hand at panhandling or sleeping on a park bench on this leg,” Momany says.

After that, you’ll go to Seattle’s Recovery Café, which provides free meals to the homeless, then hang out at the Seattle Public Library for a few hours.

Day 3: You will get some more coffee, then spend the rest of the day fucking with non-homeless people by seeing if you can get into high-end restaurants while wearing your Derelicte ensemble from Day 1. Clearly the benefit of that activity is getting to feel self-righteous and superior to the people in the restaurants judging you for your appearance. Before you get too smug, however, remember that none of those assholes thought it was a good idea to pay $2,000 to put on a homeless person costume and use up resources intended to go to the poor.

Come the fuck on. Are we being Punk’d? Is this tacky, insensitive and wasteful, or is it a brilliant way to scam a ton of money off the kind of terrible, hypothetical person who would actually pay $2,000 for the privilege of taking up a spot in a Seattle homeless shelter and eating meals intended to go to people who cannot afford food?

You know, there’s no reason it can’t be both.

Via Clutch/Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Julia Sonenshein

    WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?

  • Anne Marie Hawkins

    I kept hoping there was a twist like “Momany donates the entire proceeds to Seattle area nonprofits that aid the homeless.” But, no, just capitalism. Ick.

  • Samantha_Escobar

    Like seriously WTF is this shit.

  • Benita

    You would also need the privilege of being male because homelessness is far more dangerous for women.