From homeless to running for Congress

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A Champaign Urbana man says he hit rock bottom, but now he’s bouncing back. He was struggling to make ends meet and now he’s running for Congress.

Reverend William Summerville was living in California out of his car. He had a lot of student debt, was dealing with a divorce, and was homeless. Now he’s working to help others dealing with personal hardships.

“As long as you’re working to be your best self then that will be good enough,” William Summerville said.

Reverend William Summerville knows what it’s like to lose it all.

“Just sleeping in my car and I got a little job at a hotel to try and navigate how I could still do the graveyard shift and get what little bit of sleep could during those times,” Summerville said.

Summerville is from the Champaign- Urbana area. He moved around a bunch before moving to California. While he was there, he became homeless.

“I found hospice work and that was just part time and then it elevated and turned into a career and even at that time I was just like this is good for me. I don’t need to do any more kind of public service,” Summerville said.

Summerville says his Hospice work made him want to continue helping others.

“It was a calling as is the case with this particular run. Its a calling,” Summerville said.

Now, he’s running for Congress in California.

“My campaign mission, slogan, message, mantra, is to serve the people,” Summerville said.

He says he wants to be an advocate for others and help people when they’re having hard times.

“If people fall on hard times, they have a government that cares about them versus seeking out to exploit them. That’s where I want to be on that side,” Summerville said.

Summerville was visiting here while on his campaign tour. He’s heading to Chicago today.

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