Draggin’ a wagon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Trio raises awareness for homeless

By Jesse swanson

The selma times-journal

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In a car it takes about an hour to drive the fifty miles between Demopolis and Selma along Highway 80, but

pulling a wagon weighing as much as a car has taken Roy Gleiter, Deborah Cowan and their dog, Poofer, more than two weeks.

It has taken more than three months to travel from Jackson, Miss.

Gleiter and his companions plan to haul the wagon from Jackson, Miss. to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about the nation’s policies

towards the homeless.

Gleiter and his fellow travelers’ stories begin in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Miss. The trailer he was renting, which was decimated by the storm, was owned by his employer so he, Cowden and Poofer didn’t qualify for FEMA assistance.

Gleiter and his band’s problems were multiplied by the fact that Cowden’s mental problems prevent her from receiving shelter assistance without proper medication. As the group was asked to leave Jackson at the behest of police officers, and to move their belongings to the other side of adjacent Rankin County, Gleiter decided to travel to Washington, D.C. to bring attention to the plight of the homeless.

Gleiter plans to continue down Highway 80 and through Montgomery into Georgia before heading North into mountainous terrain.

Brandon Glover of The Demopolis Times contributed to this report.