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Former Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn and son begin 200 mile walk to spotlight homelessness

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (ABC) — Following in his father’s footsteps, former Governor Pat Quinn’s son Patrick is taking the first steps in a nearly 200 mile journey. To put the spotlight on homelessness.

The Governor’s son is drawing inspiration from those that have walked before him.

As former Governor Pat Quinn laced up his old walk shoes, the same pair he used nearly two decades ago to cross this bridge.

“These are the very same shoes that I had when I walked across Centennial, and started to walk across Illinois,” Quinn said.

This time, the former Illinois Governor is doing it in support of his son Patrick, the younger Quinn, taking steps to combat homelessness.

“Walking across the state from Rock Island to Chicago to raise awareness to raise funds experiencing homelessness,” Patrick Quinn said.

According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, more than 10,000 people are experiencing homelessness in Illinois alone.

It’s a cause near and dear to his heart, and one he will walk 190 miles for.

“I really saw a new face of homelessness, where it wasn’t just this stereotypical panhandler. It was people working 40 hours a week, and I think that kind of activated me to do more,” Patrick Quinn said.

Patrick said that the journey is part poetic.

“This would be a dramatic way to show that a humble act like walking, can spur the development of big change,” Patrick Quinn said. “It’s a campaign year, it’s a different kind of campaign, activating ordinary citizens.”

For the elder Quinn, seeing his son walk for change is a source of pride and now a family tradition.

“It was almost 18 years to this very day, that I was at Centennial bridge with my doctor, Quentin young, we walked across Illinois on behalf of decent healthcare for everybody,” Quinn said. “When we stared out walking for decent healthcare on this very bridge, we didn’t have the affordable care act in Illinois, now we do.”

Proving that big issues can be pursued one step at a time, and with two feet firmly on the ground.

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