As a kid, Jimmy vividly remembers arguments between his parents accelerating from raised voices to physical confrontations in a matter of minutes. He would often escape the violence during these skirmishes by climbing out of his bedroom window and heading to a friend’s house.
Jimmy was 14 years old when his father went to prison for armed robbery. His mother wasn’t around much, and Jimmy had to figure things out on his own. In high school, he started drinking and using drugs. He dropped out during his senior year and found refuge in the woods next to one of the major roads in town. He built a crude shelter and learned how to panhandle.
One night, Jimmy woke up to a loud noise near his shelter. He sprung up and stumbled into the darkness, not knowing what he might find. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the morning with a large bump on the back of his head. That attack was the turning point. He knew about The Salvation Army’s Downtown Shelter from other people in the area, and it was time to go.
It took him an afternoon of walking, but Jimmy finally made it to the shelter. During his time there, he found the support and services needed to change the course of his life. He got a job at a construction company and moved into his own apartment.
Unfortunately, Jimmy’s time experiencing homelessness plagues many single men and women in our community. But that is why The Salvation Army is here. We provide the foundation, and hope, that people need to become self-sufficient again.
Names of clients and images have been changed to protect their confidentiality.