Businessman Tim Guest swapped his comfortable lifestyle for 10 days to experience what it is like to be homeless.
Businessman Tim Guest swapped his comfortable lifestyle for 10 days to experience what it is like to be homeless. SBS

Millionaire’s riches to rags experiment

SELF-MADE millionaire businessman Tim Guest was able to semi-retire when he was just 27.

But after achieving his business goals, Guest soon found there was something missing in his life.

"I think a lot of that drive for success was kinda about something that was missing in me and I thought achieving success would fill that up," Guest, now 39, tells The Guide.

"I spent a couple of years enjoying that but I still, I guess felt a bit empty on the inside."

He says he realised connecting with people and giving back would help him fill that hole, something that led to him sleeping rough on Melbourne's streets for SBS documentary series Filthy Rich and Homeless.

"I had the opportunity to make a difference and the opportunity to really test myself," he says about the experiment.

On the show, Guest joins five other wealthy volunteers to swap their comfortable lives for 10 days to experience life as a homeless person - living on the streets, in crisis accommodation and squats.

Beauty entrepreneur Jellaine Dee, millionaire businessman Tim Guest, Sydney model and socialite Christian Wilkins, third-generation pub baron Stu Laundy and daughter of boxing champion Kayla Fenech star in the three-part documentary series Filthy Rich and Homeless.
Beauty entrepreneur Jellaine Dee, millionaire businessman Tim Guest, Sydney model and socialite Christian Wilkins, third-generation pub baron Stu Laundy and daughter of boxing champion Kayla Fenech star in the three-part documentary series Filthy Rich and Homeless. SBS

Before going into the experiment, Guest says he didn't know much about the issue and didn't pay homeless people much attention.

"I'm certainly guilty of having that throwaway thought, 'Come on mate, why don't you just go and get a job, why don't you just go and do something about it?'" he says.

But what he discovered was confronting.

"I never considered the level of childhood trauma that so many homeless people that I met had experienced, whether it be things from sexual abuse, to alcohol and violence, drug abuse and marriage break-ups," he says.

"And with nearly every person I met, I was left thinking, 'Holy sh*t, I don't know that I would be doing as well as you are if I had to deal with the same stuff'.

"I was really blown away by their level of resilience."

Guest says he hopes viewers can learn something from his experience on the show and hopes something can be done to help those sleeping rough around Australia.

"If I had my way we could fix this issue with the click of a finger but I know that's naive," he says.

"Who knows if we'll ever fix it?"

The three-part series runs over three consecutive nights next week and will be followed by a one-hour live studio program hosted by Indira Naidoo and Tom Ballard after episode three.

Filthy Rich and Homeless premieres on Tuesday at 8.30pm on SBS.



New barres add twinkle

New barres add twinkle

Generous donation

Surprise visit by a Gun preacher

Surprise visit by a Gun preacher

Listen to motivating life story

Cheery get together for club members

Cheery get together for club members

Christmas in July party

Local Partners