Veteran looks out for his brothers on indy’s streets _ news ok
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — It’s early December as Rodney Jackson steers the white minivan through the rainy Downtown streets, past towering office buildings and gleaming hotels decorated for the holidays. Work from home data entry melbourne He’s headed to a little place by the river, long known as Tent City, in the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium.
Here, through the tangled brush and down a slippery flight of steps made of discarded pallets, is John Wheeler’s home.
Work from home jobs for professionals It’s a campsite, strewn with boxes, bins and bags. Work from home jobs for dentists There’s a method to the mess. Best work from home jobs for moms Wheeler calls it his early warning system. Work online from home and earn money in india He sleeps in a nearby tent and wants to be alerted if anyone is approaching.
The White River runs alongside the camp, where Wheeler says he’s lived for going on five years. Legitimate work from home jobs bbb He has a neighbor, Steve, a stone’s throw away, who lives in a sturdy “tiny house” heated by a potbelly stove. How to work from home sewing Often, they have coffee together. Get paid to work from home Another neighbor, Rob, has gone up to the Cathedral Kitchen and Food Pantry for the morning.
We are here at the invitation of Wheeler, a gracious and friendly man of 71, who looks seven or eight years younger, despite living outdoors. How can you work from home He’s clean-shaven and wears a red Marine Corps cap over his gray hair. Legitimate work from home jobs reviews He wards off the chill with a hooded sweatshirt and jacket over a flannel shirt.
In an earlier life, Wheeler put on a shirt and tie every day before heading to work at Stokely-Van Camp as an accountant. Work from home jobs vancouver After five years there, a place he expected to retire from, the company was sold to Quaker in 1983.
From there, he admits to making a few bad decisions that led to him leaving other jobs, along with his apartment and his conventional life. How to online work from home Had he stayed at Stokely, he says he would have had a different life. Work from home data entry mumbai But does he regret the choices he’s made? Not really.
Jackson knows Wheeler from his work on the streets. How to find work from home jobs He’s outreach coordinator for Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation. How to work from home in malaysia Retired from the Navy after 20 years, Jackson, 54, moved back to his hometown of Indianapolis from California after losing his job, leaving the service and seeing his marriage crumble — all in the space of a year.
Jackson understands that some people reserve harsh judgment for the homeless, believing they are lazy or alcoholics. Legitimate work from home jobs in california Some are, he said. Ecommerce work from home For others, addiction and mental illness have left them unable to cope with the demands of society.
The 2016 Point-in-Time Homeless Count found 1,619 people homeless in Marion County, about 20 percent of whom were veterans. Online work from home kerala The majority sleep in shelters or transitional housing, but on any given night more than 100 veterans are sleeping in tents or on the street. Legitimate work from home jobs stuffing envelopes uk Nearly 360 homeless reported suffering mental illness, and another 500 said they had a substance abuse problem.
While the total number of homeless counted was down 2.8 percent from 2015, national research suggests the number is actually three to five times the number reported.
Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation, 964 N. How do i get home from work Pennsylvania St., has been working with homeless veterans since 1983. Work from home data entry in bangalore Each night, the nonprofit houses 205 homeless veterans in its transitional housing facilities and serves 500 others via employment, legal and supportive services. How to work from home com In early December, 18 veterans were on a waiting list for housing.
After losing some federal money last year, HVAF is among several local agencies that will see funding restored as Indianapolis works to provide more stable housing programs and focus less on transitional housing.
“HVAF could use this funding to support our veteran-centric addiction recovery program and expand our ability to deliver services to at-risk veterans who may not be eligible for VA benefits.” said Brian Copes, HVAF president.
For Jackson, who makes the rounds of homeless camps every day, it’s a privilege to serve them. Work from home jobs for students “They’re no different really than us. Work from home jobs vic We don’t understand how they can live out here in these elements, but to them psychologically, it’s OK,” he said. Work from home data entry jobs az “Our reality is having a roof over our head, paying bills. Legitimate work from home jobs cape town That makes sense to us, but some people just don’t want that responsibility.”
Wheeler, who served four years in the Marine Corps, achieving the rank of sergeant, says he is out here “by choice, not necessity.” But he’s neither lazy, nor an addict. Work from home info He just got mad at the world.
“I get Social Security and a little retirement check,” Wheeler said. How to work from home no scams “I thought I was smarter than all these other people, and I could solve the homeless problem when I came out here.”
Wheeler, who worked in logistics and as a helicopter gunner in Vietnam, has helped distribute food and supplies to other homeless, even donates money to legitimate outreach causes, but he says there needs to be better coordination of services. Work from home jobs for moms stuffing envelopes Too many small groups, though well-meaning, are duplicating the efforts of established outreach organizations like HVAF, Wheeler said.
From his perspective, food, blankets and water are being wasted. Legitimate work from home jobs michigan “If the homeless don’t have all the blankets they need,” he said, “it’s because they’re throwing them away.”
Jackson carries around bottled water, canned goods, hand warmers and other incidentals for needy vets in the back of his van. 10 legitimate work from home jobs He understands what Wheeler is saying, but withholds judgment on the people he serves.
“The main thing I’ve learned about most people out here is they just want peace of mind. Sims 3 work from home set They’re not out here to cause any problems; they just want to be left alone,” he said.
Wheeler is about ready to pack up and head west — maybe Arizona, he says. Work from home jobs queens ny He has tried to leave this life before, but keeps getting pulled back. Work from home data entry full time It’s duty more than anything, said the former platoon leader. Work from home data entry birmingham “The people down here are like my men.”
He’s Marine Corps tough, but he doesn’t do it alone. Computer work from home He said he gets support from Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers who patrol the area.
As outreach coordinator for HVAF, his focus is on veterans. Online work from home google He works with them to apply for military benefits, find employment, get to doctor appointments and secure housing if that’s their choice.
On this day, he was giving Wheeler a ride back to his camp from Horizon House, a day shelter where Wheeler comes weekly to do his laundry and shower. Online work from home opportunities He was also on the lookout for size 10 boots for the Marine, whose old shoes were no match for the muddy, cold conditions that day.
“I forgot one night to put my boots in bed with me — they froze. Work from home data entry net I was walking around like a ballet dancer for a half hour. Jobs you can work from home Couldn’t get my feet in.”
We leave Wheeler at his camp and move on around a nearby parking lot, where Jackson drives by a row of tents and makeshift shelters. Work from home data entry australia This is the bad side of Tent City, he says. Work from home data entry phoenix az There’s little activity on a cold, rainy day, but Jackson points out where “Rambo” used to live before someone burned his shack down. Can you work from home Then on past “Wild Bill’s” camp. How to work from home with baby Jackson doesn’t stop. Work online from your home “He’s got a pit bull, and I’m not going down there. E learning work from home That dog is mean.” A Christmas tree decorates one campsite.
In a quieter part of Tent City across the river live brothers John and James. Work from home jobs companies They’re good guys, Jackson says. Work from home jobs for nurse practitioners One is a veteran, the other is not. Online work from home jobs without investment The brothers aren’t home when we visit, but we see their vegetable garden, where they grow green beans, tomatoes, asparagus and more in the summer. Online work from home for chartered accountants They live in a tiny house they built themselves, using materials found in dumpsters or donated by nearby businesses.
A couple miles from here, just off East Washington Street, is the Jungle, perhaps the largest homeless camp in the city. Best work from home Joe Mefford runs this camp of about 25 residents, acting as mayor, governor and police chief. How to work from home with google He’s not a veteran, but his military demeanor has helped bring order to a once drug-infested community, Jackson said.
The Jungle goes on for about four or five blocks through woods and up to some railroad tracks. Work from home canada Jackson walks it once or twice a week, checking to see if any new people have moved in.
Residents share what they have and are expected to clean up after themselves. E publishing work from home Still, there are violators, said Mefford, as he stooped down to pick up a piece of trash. Work from home data entry jobs utah “I hate trash; show some respect,” he said to no one in particular.
Mefford, 39, has lived in the Jungle about 18 months. Work from home data entry dallas texas Asked what led him here, he said he spent 10 years in prison and when he got out, his family and friends had scattered. Work from home data entry jobs He works odd jobs and hopes to save enough money to move to Tennessee some day.
“I don’t want people to get too comfortable here,” he added. 1 800 flowers work from home “Church groups come in here and feed and clothe us. How to work from home as a graphic designer I want everybody to be independent, to do for themselves.”
Nearby, a group of men and one woman chopped wood donated by a local tree service. How to work from home jobs The wood would feed the community’s main campfire, where residents gather throughout the day.
As we talked, Jackson checked on Rick, a veteran who once had been housed through HVAF. Legitimate work from home jobs seattle He’s not sure what led to the man’s return to living outdoors, but Jackson said it’s not his job to judge. Legitimate work from home jobs las vegas Rick was buried under a mountain of blankets in a tent, but he peeked his head out to say hi. Online work from home jobs The two men talked about filing military paperwork before Jackson moved on.
“I helped get a guy named Jerry off the street within two weeks of meeting him once,” Jackson said in the van later. Online work from home sydney “He was super thankful; he was crying and I was crying. Online work from home without investment in india But it just depends on what the person is seeking. Legitimate work from home jobs in australia Some might just want a bus pass or a pair of socks.