I first met Jay at a church feed in Kent. I was stunned to see a wheelchair bound man with nowhere to go. I finally caught up with him today at the library. His story is heartbreaking to hear but he was kind enough to agree to share with me on video a small glimpse of what his daily life has been like ever since he lost housing. I called local shelters today after he told me a woman at a shelter ran by Catholic Community Services told him he couldn’t stay there because he is in a wheelchair and they didn’t want to be liable if anything happened to him. No surprises then, when I called around to shelters for the disabled and got told that I would have to call some numbers tomorrow morning. In the meantime, Jay doesn’t know where he’ll be sleeping tonight or if he’ll get picked up by the police. Jay is only one face out of many here in Kent with no place to go. The city of Kent does not have a drop-in center downtown so homeless folks like Jay must travel to Pierce County or all the way to Seattle if they have the bus fare or a ride out of town.
I’ll be making calls to see what can be done for Jay but even he knows there’s no getting around being put on a waiting list to get into a shelter….if the shelter will take him.