J had a normal, uneventful childhood. He lived at home with is mom, dad, and brother in a community in Little Rock. He loved going to school and was an excellent student earning “A” grades.
Unfortunately, life changed drastically when he was fifteen. His mom started using drugs and ended up in jail. His father was drinking heavily, met another woman, and left Jerrod and his brother on their own. It was hard for the boys. Jerrod tried to pay the rent, but eventually, he just couldn’t make it work. Then his brother moved to Dallas with his girlfriend. Jerrod was alone.
After spending 3 months with no money and no resources, Jerrod dropped out of school and got involved with a different crown. Eventually he was evicted and on the streets living in basements and abandoned houses. He was lost, confused and without his family to guide him. He started using drugs.
Jerrod was finally able to reconnect with his mom, but she couldn’t help him directly. She suggested he got to St. Francis House. When he arrived, Jerrod met Rev. Small who gently guided his troubled soul. Rev. Small helped Jerrod to understand that he wasn’t a bad person, but that he had to make the choice to change his life.
St. Francis House was able to contact Jerrod’s aunt in Richmond who agreed to take him in. With further help from St. Francis House, the bus tickets were bought, and Jerrod was provided food and clothing for the trip.
Once his life settled down, Jerrod was able to earn his GED and become a certified pest exterminator. He has advanced to become a lead technician and now teaches other employees the trade. Jerrod hopes to own his own business one day, and when he sees other people facing difficult circumstances, he tries to mentor them to a different path. “I’ve been there and done that,” Jerrod offers, “There’s a better way. I’m a proven example.”