PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Lou Ness is an Episcopal deacon.

The 65-year-old grandmother has walked into Pittsburgh for a lofty mission.

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“My purpose is to end poverty in America,” she says.

One step at a time. She started hiking from her church in Rockford, Illinois, on April 1. Her destination: Capitol Hill in Washington.

“I’ve been walking from rural town to rural town, from state to state, listening to people’s stories who live very marginally, at or below the poverty level,” Rev. Ness says.

There are stops along the way.

It’s a long journey for someone who admittedly doesn’t like walking. She has logged 596 miles since Rockford.

Her Pittsburgh destination is Trinity Church in Downtown Pittsburgh.

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She’s greeted by parishioners, who learn of her technique for fighting blisters.

“I’m using duct tape on my toes. It’s working,” she laughs.

Bishop Dorsey McConnell, of the Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese, washes the feet of the weary traveler, a tradition that dates to the time of Christ.

Then, she’s off again.

Her message for Congress: “Don’t treat us like we’re stupid. And stop fighting.”

She blogs daily on her progress, at http://www.shelter-care.org

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