At any given day you can expect to see Clayton and Fayette County residents lined up outside The Salvation Army Jonesboro Citadel Corps in need of the basic necessities to survive. Each week the Corps offers worship services, educational, recreational and spiritual resources, as well as a range of social services for seniors, adults and children of all denominations.
However, when temperatures drop below freezing those without shelter have limited places to go in the Jonesboro area.
On a cold Sunday morning, Melissa Cordova, Jonesboro Corps Director found a young male sleeping underneath the bridge at the Corps. The man found refuge there since late Friday night. As Melissa was opening the doors of the church to prepare for Sunday school, she couldn’t help but to notice someone lying close by. It was a twenty-four year old homeless male by the name of Jacob. “I was devastated to find someone that young in such an awful predicament,” explained Melissa. She immediately took Jacob to the nearest restaurant for breakfast and contacted the Jonesboro Corps Officer, Lt. Brian Mott for help.
“When I arrived, I invited him to join us for Sunday school and church service immediately following,” explained Lt. Mott, “Surprisingly he was very receptive to my invitation and worshiped with us during service.”
Salvation Army Officers aim to reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. “Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination, and Jacob was no exception,” said Lt. Mott.
Throughout their day together, Jacob shared with Lt. Mott that he had been moving from state to state and suffered from addiction for many years. He hadn’t spoken to his family for months and was longing for someone to help him. Lt. Mott encouraged Jacob to contact his mother and in doing so they instantly bonded. Jacob’s mom had been wondering where her son was and how he was doing. “She thanked me immensely,” said Lt. Mott.
After church, Lt. Mott searched to find Jacob shelter for the evening, his mother had agreed to pick him up the following day. He called The Salvation Army Red Shield Services Shelter in downtown Atlanta in hopes that they would be able to provide Jacob with a bed.
Red Shield Services is a 348 bed facility providing shelter for unaccompanied men and women as well as families with children 365 days a year. The shelter offers a number of housing programs that provide meaningful activities resulting in producing independent and proactive members of society. Jacob stayed overnight at the shelter and his mother drove from Alabama to reconnect with her son.
“God always has a plan for our lives. I believe God has a plan for Jacobs’s life,” explained Lt. Mott.
Currently, Jacob is in a rehabilitation program in Chattanooga, Tennessee and remains in contact with the great people at The Salvation Army Jonesboro Citadel Corps.
If you would like to learn more about The Salvation Army and our programs or services, visit www.salvationarmyatlanta.org.