Poplar Bluff man to skate 900 miles, brings awareness to homelessness on reservation

Poplar Bluff man houses those on reservation

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - A Poplar Bluff man is battling homelessness in South Dakota in a unique way.

“Homes are in dire need,” John Cornelius said.

John Cornelius has lived in Poplar Bluff for 10 years but he grew up on Pine Ridge Reservation, which is now struggling to house those who live there.

He and his wife decided to help.

They bought a 20x9x9 storage container to renovate and send to the reservation for a family.

“My childhood friend actually shared a post on his Facebook page about bringing containers home to the reservation. I thought hey we can do that,” Cornelius said.

He’s getting help from some of his men’s faith-based group buddies and a man named Mike Rain.

Rain heard of the project Cornelius was doing and wanted to raise awareness of the conditions on the reservation.

Rain plans to do so by traveling over 900 miles from poplar Bluff to Pine Ridge Reservation.

“I wanted to get on board with that right away,” Rain said.

On trips like these, most would normally pack the car and hit the road.

However, Mike plans to travel a bit differently.

He will travel the full 900 miles by foot and on his skateboard.

“Just seeing the world like that in slow motion, some people think that sounds wild, and I think the opposite,” Rain said.

Cornelius, along with others who are helping renovate the storage unit, said they were shocked.

“He called me and said I want to walk to Pine Ridge for you. Yea, I mean WOW,” Corneilius said.

“First, he said walk from Poplar Bluff, Missouri to South Dakota, and we were like what?” Bret Trostel said.

Rain leaves for his travel on Wednesday, May 5.

He hopes he raise awareness by word of mouth.

“I’m traveling for approximately six weeks to arrive at Pine Ridge on the Summer Solstice, June 21,” Rain said.

Cornelius says he hopes he continues to help provide homes for those in need and create attention to the conditions at the reservation.

“There’s a lot of good there but it’s a dire place,” he said.

Cornelius says they are looking for someone to help transport the storage container.

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