“No one should be in the streets,” Jesse told Jennifer. “I know how that feels.”
Jesse, who lived at CCYA with other children in the foster care system, had been saving his money for months to buy an iPhone 6s as a Christmas gift for himself.
One night last December, a homeless man walked into the Subway restaurant where Jesse worked and asked for some water.
“I’ll buy you a whole meal,” Jesse told him.
But he didn’t stop there.
Jesse told the man to wait until closing, when he ordered an Uber to take them to an ATM down the street.
Jesse, who was 19 at the time, took out more than $200 in cash and gave it to the man so he could pay for a full week’s stay at a nearby motel.
It was across the street from the motel where Jesse and his mom stayed once.
“That summer we were homeless,” Jesse added. “I know how it feels to walk around all night.”
“I knew I could save up the money, again, because I have a good work ethic,” Jesse said. “The man kept saying, ‘Bless you, bless you.'”
The man never told Jesse his name, and they never saw each other, again.
“Jesse’s actions are not typical of what most people think about kids in foster and shelter,” said Kimberly Tinsley, Director of Volunteer Services & Youth Activities at CCYA. “Jesse is a a great example of a young man who is using his childhood challenges for inspiration and empowerment to be a good person and a good Samaritan.”
Jesse has since transitioned out of his group home to an independent living program.
He has a new job now, and he’s planning to start classes soon at Chattahoochee Technical College.
“Despite his unfortunate childhood, Jesse does not carry around anger or resentment in his heart. Instead, he carries gratitude and compassion,” Tinsley added. “He is a role model for all fostered youth and all people demonstrating that whether you have a little or a lot to share, you should still share with those less fortunate than you. We are so proud of the young man that Jesse has become!”
(© 2016 WXIA)