THE STREET IS NOT A HOME
May 16, 2016
We believe Jackson’s most vulnerable citizens deserve housing, food, access to medical & mental health services, a sense of community and a place they can call home.
Because of your support, United Way of Jackson County can provide funding to the John George Home. Early in 2016, key members of our community came together to save a man from a life on the street. Here is the press release from the City of Jackson telling the story of James Riddle.
Two years ago, James Riddle was working in Albion and living in Homer with his wife and two children. After a layoff notice and a stroke of bad luck, Riddle was sleeping in front of closed businesses and on a street corners in downtown Jackson for months.
Now, after a group of Jackson community leaders and residents stepped forward to offer Riddle a helping hand, the 61-year-old is back on his feet. Riddle signed his paperwork and moved into the John George Home on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
“The first thing he wanted was a shave,” said Carrie Good, administrator at the home. “We got him a haircut and a shave, new clothes and a bite to eat.”
Good said the John George Home isn’t a lockdown facility and residents move in under their own volition, so she was surprised when Riddle showed up after she told him about the elderly home more than six months ago. “It doesn’t happen too often,” she said.
Good credits the community effort in finding Riddle his new home. John Willis, neighborhood outreach coordinator for the city of Jackson, also played a part in helping Riddle and echoed Good’s remarks.
“From the downtown patrons who observed him every day, the Jackson Police Department, the city administrators and people like Ben Puhr from Jackson’s Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization and Carrie Good, we came together to reach out,” Willis said. “That’s one of the things that make Jackson special, people care and are willing to work together to make our city a better place for everyone.”
Riddle said he’s grateful and happy for his new apartment at the home. Good said after Riddle was shown his new living space on Tuesday, he looked at her and said “I’m going to be okay.”
James has a place to call home. Your United Way support helped to make his home possible. Last year, 39 gentlemen over the age of 60 with little or no income called the John George Home their home.