Anderson community effort keeps homeless man warm - FOX Carolina 21

Anderson community effort keeps homeless man warm

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The Quality Inn where dozens have paid for Jessie to stay. (Jan. 24, 2014/FOX Carolina) The Quality Inn where dozens have paid for Jessie to stay. (Jan. 24, 2014/FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Morning and night hundreds drive down N. Main Street in Anderson and while doing so pass a elderly homeless man named Jessie on their way.

Jessie has been living near various businesses on the street on and off for years. According to several people who have stopped and talked to him, he is Vietnam War veteran who served the country for nine years.

Anderson resident Bud Hanley chose to stop and talk to Jessie this week, and discovered he has no place to go when the temperatures fall below freezing.

"He said sometimes I have a place to go. Sometimes I find a place out of the wind, and sleep a little bit," said Hanley.

Determined to do something to help Jessie, Hanley expressed his feelings on Facebook.

"Within just a few minutes tons of people started to respond with comments and messages, text messages in support of doing something for him," said Hanley.  

Just 24 hours later, a huge community effort developed a fund for Jessie to stay at the Quality Inn on N. Main Street. At press time donations had come in to provide Jessie with more than 60 nights lodging.

"The outpour of support is amazing, we're using both phone lines," said Latasha Leonard, a front desk receptionist at the Quality Inn. "People calling in paying with their credit cards, paying for one night, two nights and even five nights."

The people involved in helping say they hope others are inspired to pay it forward, and do good deeds in their communities as well.

"It's just about following your heart," said Hanley. "If there's something on your heart to do, go ahead and do it. Put it out there, there's a lot of good people that will have your back."

Hanley is just one of the several people that helped get this effort up and running.

The community has also started a tab for Jessie at the Waffle House connected to the Quality Inn on N. Main Street. If you would like to help out, you can call the Quality Inn at 864-226-6051.

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