Russell Senate Building
Larry Lamsa/Flickr

Charles Gladden works as a dishwasher and janitor at the cafeterias in the U.S. Senate buildings,  making $11 an hour.  Recently, Gladden was involved in a one-day strike calling for a living wage of $15 an hour. It was during this strike that he revealed his living situation, reported CNN.

Gladden spends his nights on the sidewalk outside of the McPherson Square Metro station and is shooed away every  morning before the commuters arrive. He gets to work early and takes  a “birdbath” in a sink at the Capitol in order to stay clean enough to handle food.

Diabetes forces Gladden to sometimes miss work without pay, and he gives much of his salary to his children and grandchildren to help with their financial hardships.

Gladden argues that politicians cannot ignore that homelessness has happened to him while living on a low wage,  and therefore it could  happen to others.

Boyz II Men co-founder Nathan Morris heard about Gladden and wanted to help. Morris created the Charles Gladden Fund and used the crowdfunding platform to raise money for Gladden to find housing. In addition, Morris donated $10,000 from his foundation, Boyz II Men House. When Street Sense went to press on May 5, the fund had raised nearly $24,000.