UNM student chooses to spend spring break homeless

Michael Pierce
Michael Pierce


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Most college students spend spring break by the beach or relaxing at home, but not one University of New Mexico student. He decided to spend it on the streets and he captured it all on video.

“I will be living off of only about $20 in my wallet,” Michael Pierce said.

That’s how Pierce spent his spring break two months ago in Albuquerque.

“I have to find something better if I’m going to get through this,” Pierce said.

He posted a 20-minute documentary of the experience online this week. It shows Pierce on camera scrounging for cash so he could get food.

“Out of all that work got $1.10,” Pierce said.

Behind the camera was fellow UNM student Francisco Gomez.

“I saw what he wanted, and I wanted that too,” Gomez said. “This guy is going to try and make some change or at least some type of awareness of what’s going on…at least in the city.”

“I just wanted to be able to do something where I could make a difference,” Pierce said.

They did take some safety precautions. Pierce made sure he had a charged cellphone with him in case of emergencies at night.

“I was a little nervous going into this because even watching it you can tell I don’t have many street smarts” Pierce said.

He says the biggest surprise was all the positive people he encountered.

“Everyone I met even though they would often be in situations that were difficult, they would still have a positive outlook and that’s something I think everyone could use in their own life as well including me,” Pierce said.

Pierce tried to make it through the week without going to a soup kitchen, but towards the end he says he had no choice.

He also spent the last night, sleeping at a shelter.

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