Former homeless man earns degree at WSU with support from WPD officer


A Wichita man has gone from living on the streets to earning a college diploma.

But his latest accomplishment is just the beginning of his journey.     

Ernest Robinson became homeless after what he calls a dark time in his life. But after three years of bouncing from one shelter to another he started saving up money to get off the streets.

Ernest started out as a laundry volunteer at the Open Door Shelter and was a representative for the Wichita Police Homeless Outreach Team.

He says it was because of the encouragement of WPD officer Nate Schwiethale, he started thinking about his future.

He then saved up for an apartment and eventually bought a car and went to school, earning his Associates degree in July.

Ernest says officer Schwiethale and other mentors continue to make a difference in his life.

“You get in those moments and you wonder who cares, what am I doing this for,” said Ernest Robinson. “He rises up to the top in my mind of there’s somebody out there who cares what I’m doing.”

Ernest is now finishing up his Bachelor’s degree in business at Wichita State University. He plans to apply for internships to work toward his goal of one day becoming self-employed.

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