11 News Special Report: Homeward Bound, The Journey Home

This week on 11 News Colorado we have brought you a series of special reports called, Homeward Bound, The Journey Home. This week we have introduced you to hardworking homeless people who have been helped through The Phoenix Project for veterans and the Grand Junction Community Homeless Shelter.

These people are working their way back after going through
tough times. In part three you will meet the Jaynes family,
one that has stayed together in tight quarters and is on the verge of buying their first home, one filled with a lot of love.

"I gets crowded, it gets hectic. we are glad to have what we have at this point," said Lesley Jaynes. The Jaynes family is exceptionally close. It has to be, 8 people, 2 dogs and their other pets live in a home that is barely 900 square feet. The kids range in age from six months to 16 years.

The Jaynes moved to Grand Junction to live with a cousin who offered them a place to stay. After that cousin experienced marital problems, the Jaynes returned from a trip to the mall to the mobile home they shared, to find the door locked. The cousin did not allow them to return, and they had nowhere to go.

"We would probably be living in the back of our station wagon with our then 5 kids and 2 dogs. We would have been
out on the street," said Lesley.

Two of the kids were students at Bookcliff Middle School. A counselor got word of their misfortune, and got them into
Homeward Bound's Transitional Housing Program. Kathy Capps is their case worker, "The goal is to help families transition from homelessness into self–suffiency and they are individualized for each family that enters the program."

They have been in the Transitional Housing Program for more than 2 1/2 years. Leslie's husband, John, has been
working for a Loma–based drilling company during that time.

“The Jaynes family, that is a tremendous story going from homeless to possibly home ownership in a little more than two years. We did extend their stay in the transitional program. they are just inches away from a house. They are going to make different choices and we are going to do things differently," said Capps.

"It's not something that is just given to us, we have to work for it. I work when the kids go to bed. My husband works 12 hour days," said Leslie.

Case worker Capps has more, “The stereotype is anything but typical. There are a lot of folks who are situationally homeless. They are a prime example.”.

While many people are homeless due to drug, alcohol, or domestic abuse, that is not the case with the Jaynes
family. "I guess a lot of people look at those who have been homeless and they are there because they are lazy, they want
to be there. We just had some unfortunate things happen to us," said Leslie.

There will be a happy ending to this story. The Jaynes are on a short list of families on the verge of working their way into a Habitat for Humanity home, one that Leslie hopes will be a
little more comfortable than the 900 square foot unit the eight share now.

Although their new home may be bigger, there will never be more love in it than the one they are packed into now. "We take a lot of pride in our faith and take a lot of pride in our love. We've had less, and to us this is more, this is everything.


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