Jesse’s Story: 13 Blankets
Some people think 13 is an unlucky number.
For Jesse, it’s just the number of blankets he needed to keep warm while trying to survive in a tent during the cold, wet winter.
But staying warm at night isn’t the only issue Jesse faced while experiencing homelessness.
In addition to needing to find food and water for both him and his companion dog, he also has to deal with the relentless aching that the cold causes to his legs.
You see, while aches and pains are known to come with age, his are caused by something other than getting older.
Jesse has metal plates in his legs and hips – unwanted souvenirs from his time serving in the military.
“My knee and hip were blown,” Jesse says. “Broken from a grenade blast in Kuwait when I was deployed with a team of SEALs. My leg was fractured in five places and the joint cracked. They had to replace all of it.”
Jesse walks with a limp, which means he often gets people staring at himin worry. He simply responds by saying, “I’ll be all right, it’s just my bones hurting.”
The truth is, without the Mission, Jesse might not be all right. That’s because when you’re on the streets, there are alot of dangers.
“Being Homeless is like a Disease” – Jesse
You need food, you need to stay warm and you need to avoid the people who might want to steal your tent, or who are willing to go to any length just to survive themselves.
One of Jesse’s friends who had lived in a tent next to him already died. Another day, someone stole all of his blankets.
Some good Samaritans helped replace Jesse’s stolen blankets, but now he doesn’t need so many anymore.
He came to the Mission for help just a few months ago and already he’s on the verge of securing an apartment so that he’ll be able to move out.
Jesse may not have survived without the support of friends like you, which is why he now tells everyone he can about the Mission, and why he understands how important the Search and Rescue team really is.