Hunger strike for unhoused: 'My message isn't really my message, it is everyone's message'

Hunger strike for unhoused: 'My message isn't really my message, it is everyone's message'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Conrad Barney is taking the work of passive-resistance pioneers and applying their work to a controversial Eugene movement.

He is on a hunger strike and said that he won't eat until Eugene's homeless community has a safe place to sleep at night.

“My message isn't really my message, it is everyone's message," said Barney. 

He said that he has gone 31 full days without solid foods. A former chef, Barney said that life without food has been particularly hard to swallow.

Now, Conrad gets by on supplements, juice and water while making a statement in support of the Eugene SLEEPS movement.

Ashley Olson at Eugene’s Complete Nutrition store said that it is very unhealthy to deprive your body of the essentials gained from eating food. 

“You could survive for a certain time period but I think that eventually your energy is low, your fatigued or depleting in muscle,” said Olson.

Barney said that he understands the personal risks of the hunger strike. He believes that his sacrifice is worth it.

“As I progress I’m paying really close attention to my body … later down the line there’s concerns of heart issues ands kidney issues,” Barney said.

With just over a month of consuming nothing but supplements and juice under his belt, Conrad has lost around 40 pounds.

Barney said that he’s in it for the long haul, and will continue his hunger strike until Eugene’s homeless have a place to sleep.

“Tons of solutions - we just have to get together and make it happen,” Conrad said.