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Filmmaker Freezes to Death Investigating What It’s Like to be Homeless
A young literary type from UK who had participated on a local radio program as well as founded a magazine, Novel, which covered arts and culture, was made to face the fact that life on the streets was as hard as he imagined: indeed, when he decided to do some experimental reporting, actually living on the street for a week as if he were homeless, and this to win, perhaps, a place on the coveted Channel 4’s competitive Investigative Journalism Program, he instead succumbed to hypothermia, much to the surprise and horror of those who knew him.
“I am about to go and spend a week being homeless in the West End of Newcastle,” he said in a YouTube video. “I will sleep rough, scrounge for my food, access all the services that other homeless individuals in the West End use. I will interact with as many homeless people as possible and immerse myself in that lifestyle as deeply as I can.”
Evidently keeping warm requires more than having a warm heart, as it is serious business being homeless, a full time job of staying alive. Which is too bad, because those who knew Halpin, 26, seemed to think he was an exceptionally kind person whom they are going to greatly miss.
“Lee was a prominent figure in my life,” said friend Dean Sowden. “I remember him as a caring and passionate young man who always had time for me on a personal level, he always had the right suggestions that got me over some dark times.
“I miss him terribly but I will always remember his wit, his smile, his hope that things will get better and, on a lighter note, his dress sense – boy could that lad dress himself accordingly.”
Daniel Lake, another friend, said, as reported in The Telegraph, “Lee was a great guy, a character and was well known. His big things were creative writing and poetry. He was making a documentary about homeless people living Newcastle’s West End.
“No one knows how he passed away, but we think it could have been hypothermia. He made the ultimate sacrifice trying to raise awareness about what was happening to other people.”Filmmaker Freezes to Death Investigating What It’s Like to be Homeless by Daniel June