Joe, 59


"I'm homeless, but I'm not helpless and I'm not hopeless."

This is Joe Louis Jones and this is his story:

"I served uh, United States Army, Charlie Company One Seven, Fort Hood, Texas.  Took my Basic in Fort Knox, Kentucky and I drove tanks.  Born in West Palm Beach, grew up in a little town called Groveland County in Lake County.  You know how big Groveland is?  Groveland is a metropolis now.  We’ve got two traffic lights.  I am 59 years old.  I’ll be 60 December 1st.  

I got sick.  I have what doctor call chronic high blood pressure.  My blood pressure was 245 over 160.  I was picked up at the Daily Bread and stuck into an ambulance and strapped to a gurney.  Would not let me move.  Doctor told me, he said, “I don’t see why you’re standing.”  I spent four days trying to get my blood pressure under control.  Spent fourteen days in the hospital, ORMC.  Uh, they finally got it under control and in the interim I lost my apartment, I lost my job.  

Because of the blood pressure, uncontrolled, I am a liability.  Nobody wants to see me drop dead on the job and have to pay for me, so…  uh so, subsequently I’m homeless, but I’m not helpless and I’m not hopeless.  Right now, I’m working on (being on the street)  a little, about a year and a half.  By the grace of God, by the grace of God, a gentleman by the name of Gerald.  He is a retiring career specialist for the VA in Lake Baldwin.  Today, he gave me a week’s bus pass. Fifteen minutes after he gave me that bus pass I got a call for a job.

If there is anything that you could pray for me for it would be for the world we live in to wake up.  Yesterday was Memorial Day, and uh, don’t nobody remember it.  I lost family and friends.  They gave their lives.  Don’t forget.  Don’t ever forget because the freedoms we take for granted somebody paid with their lives.  We go through life not realizing, or not remembering.  I read a memorial in Lake Eola, it says, “Lest we forget”.  My prayer is God don’t let me forget so that I won’t let anyone else forget.  That’s it."

PJ Charles