Blind man deprived of shelter services finds home in Beaumont
BEAUMONT, Texas – A blind man claims he was refused service when he tried to get help from the Salvation Army.
He said that after a night in the shelter of the non-profit organization, he was asked to leave.
James Jacks is the man at the center of this story. He is homeless and newly blind. He said he was just looking for a place to stay but was turned away.
“I may be blind, but that won’t stop me from living and living on a daily basis,” Jacks said.
Jacks was in a car accident in May 2020. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him blind after shards of glass cut off his eyes.
Jacks is also homeless and with no one to turn to, he turned to the Salvation Army for help. But there was only one problem.
“The captain told me the next morning, actually, that night, actually, that I couldn’t stay any longer because I’m blind,” Jacks said.
Salvation Army Captain Jason Moore said Jacks needed help getting to and from the bathroom.
“We just don’t have the staff to accommodate someone who has, you know, more special needs, but we’ll try to make sure that the disabled person, that we give them as much of what we can give them, “said Moore.
Jeanetta Price of the National Federation of the Blind found out about Jacks’ story. She said it was unacceptable for him to be evicted and went hunting to find Jacks a home.
“Our disabled community, they are leaving this area because it is known not to be suitable for people with disabilities, but God put on my heart to stay home and serve our people,” Price said.
Helping the blind is a mission close to heart for Price. She faced her own vision problems, and on Friday she found a place in Jacks to live.
The owner of a sober living house was happy to step in and help.
“We are qualified to help, no matter if you are blind. Recovery does not distinguish between your abilities. So if you are here to recover, I am here to help,” said Kia, owner of a. sober house. Washington.
Jacks said he was happy in his new home, but he’s disappointed the Salvation Army hasn’t been a little more patient.
“Just do what you’re there to help. You’re there to help people get back on their feet, not just sit there and discriminate against someone’s disability,” Jacks said.
The Salvation Army has spoken to a social worker and they now have suitable accommodation for Jacks should he ever return to the shelter.
At present, he plans to continue to stay in the sober living home and soon attend Austin School for the Blind.