Jarred Baggeley is an Army veteran that has been homeless for years. He spent almost two years on the streets in Spokane, Washington. When he was nearing his second year in Washington, he knew he had to make a change. Hoping for a fresh start and a life finally off of the streets, Baggeley made his way to Las Vegas.
"I literally hitchhiked all the way down here," Baggeley said.
He was quick to find out that although his location had changed, his present situation remained the same.
"Now I am homeless here, and it is a huge city, and I am not sure what to do," Baggeley said.
"I just fell into that depression. It was dark it was cold."
Baggeley needed help desperately but felt completely hopeless.
"People were looking down on me because I was homeless. They categorize you. It is a shame," Baggeley said.
Most people in the city would completely ignore Baggeley and just walk right on by. It wasn't until a group of Las Vegas police officers approached him, that his life finally began to turn around.
"It was literally every day they were checking in on me. Making sure I was okay, they were keeping me safe," Baggeley recalled. "They'd ask me are you hungry, and they would go down to the pizza joint and buy me some pizza."
This group of Las Vegas police officers are part of a community outreach effort determined to help out the city's homeless.
"A lot of times people see the police, and it evokes a certain reaction. Our goal is not to have that reaction. WE want to ease in and establish a relationship," Sgt. Donnie Cox said.
Swallowed by depression, Baggeley repeatedly refused the officers offer of help. However he finally did take them up on their offer.
"I said enough is enough. It is time to get my life back. I am a soldier. I am a fighter, get up and keep fighting," Baggeley said.
At this point, Baggeley has fresh clothes, warm meals, and is even stating his new job in just a few days.
"Right now he has a clean blank canvas, and he is going to pick up a brush and paint a picture that he wants to paint," VA Peer Support Specialist Thomas Coloma said.
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