Dear Friend of the Jesus Center,
On any given night 50,000 veterans are homeless on the streets according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Over 1.4 million other veterans are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, substance abuse and the lack of any support network.
Born in Willows into a military family Dan joined the Air Force out of a sense of adventure. After training for 13 weeks at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Dan was assigned to North Dakota and then Missouri where he served as a contact air controller of B52s and F16s. Dan experienced combat in Afghanistan calling in air strikes. He lived in what he called a “ﬁre-base” outside Kabul.
“It was hard to adjust after I was discharged. I was having nightmares all the time - a car would back ﬁre and I would nearly jump out of my skin!” Dan received counseling for PTSD (postraumatic stress disorder), and started an 8 week course at a Truck School in Sacramento and then hauled vegetables and ice-cream in a refrigerated truck.
Dan had an accident in Texas in which the driver of the BMW car that collided with his truck died. “The truck was totaled. I drank heavily for a while and then stopped.” Dan married in 2000 but after coming to Chico and looking for work his wife left him and he fell apart. Dan spent time in prison and was paroled to Chico where he ended up at the Jesus Center and began helping wherever he could. “The greatest thing I can say is that the Jesus Center gave me my dignity after all I ha through.” Dan sleeps outside in secluded places in Chico where it’s safe.
“I wish people could see the Jesus Center as I do. It’s a place to help people as it’s helped me. It helps veterans – they don’t give up on other people there. “I want to b useful member of society and the Jesus Center for me is a stepping stone to that end It’s giving me resources. I feel like I’m a different person now. I sit in my tent at nig and for 30 minutes I tell God how my day has gone. I’ve gone from despair to joy.”
Please help us to give Dan and people like him the dignity to carve out a new future. Of course, it’s not easy; Dan’s still homeless and on parole but his recovery is real and he’s heading in the right direction. Your donations mean the Jesus Center can continue to provide services to people like Dan. Our work is dependent upon your support.
Thank you in advance,
Bill Such Executive Director