Often, people mistakenly believe that people are homeless due to their own choices in life. This is not the case with JJ, he has Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s is a high functioning form of Autism.
JJ was self-conscious and embarrassed because he could not care for himself. Though his parents had left him a trust fund to help with his care, he did not want his loving, supportive siblings to know he was homeless. JJ is brilliant, but he struggled with conversing and maintaining eye contact. He often distanced himself from interaction but because he was always so respectful and kind, he was well liked. If help was needed, JJ was the first to volunteer. As time passed, he began to feel accepted and safe.
JJ’s confidence has grown to the point he now openly shares his faith during daily devotions. He greets everyone with a warm smile. JJ initiates interaction, something people with Asperger’s struggle to do. Thanks to the healthy relationships and supportive atmosphere at GIFTS, JJ has experienced so much growth. We could not be prouder of JJ and the progress he has made.