About This Book
5th Anniversary - Updated & Expanded Edition
With foreword by Francis Chan
Ever Wonder What it Would Be Like to Live Homeless?
Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities—from Washington D.C. to San Diego— and they put themselves to the test.
For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant uncertainty and danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection—and all of this by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they’d always known…to discover first hand what it means to be homeless in America.
Mike and Sam's story is gritty, challenging, and utterly captivating. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world—and may even change your life.
Praise for Under the Overpass
“The Scriptures are filled with images of a God who is casting down the mighty and lifting up the lowly, of the last becoming first and the first last. In relentless nonconformity to the patterns of our culture, the Christian call is not to move away from suffering but to move toward it, so that we can bear some of the burdens carried by our brothers and sisters. Here is one story of the downward mobility of the Kingdom. It is a story that dares you to move closer to the margins, to the suffering, to the pain. . . and to meet Jesus there—in His many disguises.”
—Shane Claiborne, best-selling author, activist, and recovering sinner
“Under the Overpass is a captivating, terrifying, encouraging, motivating, saddening, amazing account of a young man who died to self with the assurance that God knows best. Rarely does a book move me this much. Mike Yankoski doesn’t have a little liquid fire in his heart; he is consumed by it. Let his book ignite your heart and soul.”
—Ryan Dobson, best-selling author of Be Intolerant and To Die For
“Every once in a while a book comes along that is so raw and revealing it proves to be a catalyst for cognizance and conviction for multiple generations. Under the Overpass is such a book. Mike and Sam’s five-month journey through the underbelly of America was not a brazen stunt by bored college students but a quest born out of guilt and curiosity thatbecame a Christ-fueled passion for the poor and dispossessed. I know Mike and am inspired by the fact that his zeal has intensified over time. He lives what he learned on the streets. Be careful as you read this timely book; it could radically change your perceptions and maybe even your calling.”
—John Ashmen, president, Association of Gospel Rescue Missions
“Often it’s hard to understand why God calls us to do difficult things. But when we’re willing to answer His call, our lives are forever changed. Mike and Sam were willing to say, ‘Here I am, Lord,’ and I have no doubt that their story will change you too!”
—Brad Meuli, president, Denver Rescue Mission
“Everyone with a beating heart will benefit from reading this book. Leading through example, Mike Yankoski takes readers on his amazing journey through the forgotten streets of America. Into the darkest places where most choose not to look, Mike chose to go. This book is so deeply moving that emotion is soon overrun with an honest desire to make a difference for what our dear Lord calls ‘the least of these.’”
—Kim Meeder, best-selling author of Blind Hope and Hope Rising
“Mike Yankoski hangs out with alcoholics and drug addicts. He panhandles for bus fare and eats from dumpsters. Yes, he has guts. But he also has faith.”
—Dean R. Hirsch, President, World Vision