Below is Jettowynne Jones’ statement to the meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners on Thursday, November, 1, 2012. Jettowynne is Jerome’s sister.
The statement was read by Abayomi Azikiwe, on behalf of Jettowynne, who was not able to attend the meeting.
Hello, my name is Jettowynne Jones. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak before you today about a concern that is dear to my heart, and that is, the health and welfare of my dear brother, Jerome Jackson.
I believe that you may be familiar with his circumstances, but if you will bear with me, I will remind you briefly.
Jerome is a paraplegic man who has been in a wheelchair since he was shot by a school bully when he was only fourteen years old. He stood up to a bully who was picking on another middle school classmate, who then retaliated the next day by shooting through the spinal cord. My brother Jerome has needed government assistance of some sort ever since.
In 2004, Community Living Services, an agency of the Health and Human Services Department of Wayne County, convinced Jerome to move to Inkster into a wheelchair accessible home built specially for him. CLS wanted to do this, in part, because they felt that such a move was more financially efficient. In other words, to save money. CLS promised to pay 85% of the mortgage and did so until 2009 They also agreed to pay his heat and lights. He would pay the water bill. Then the support stopped, ultimately leading the foreclosure of his home and the threat of emminent eviciton by PNC Bank and Fannie Mae.
We came before you earlier this year, on June 7, and the Commission passed a resolution that urged a stay in the evicitons pending a review by the County and that urged Fannie Mae and PNC Bank work with my brother Jerome to obtain a mortgage that reflects his income.
I do not believe that any meaningful review has taken place. And certainly, no mortgage has been offered that my brother can afford. At this point, the threat of eviction weighs on my brother every single day. According to his doctors, the stress has severely weakened his immune system. He has been in the hospital several times in the past few months because his blood pressure has been so high that he runs the risk of a stroke. CLS has also retaliated by reducing services that it has provided in the past.
I am here today to ask the duly-elected Commissioners of the Wayne County Commission to make CLS honor its commitment to pay 85% of the mortgage and restore all of Jerome’s services that he is entitled to.
I am here today to notify you that Jerome, myself, and his growing number of supporters will not stop the fight to restore Jerome to a dignified and independent life that he is entitled to until he gets back his home and all his services are restored. We want a positive resolution to Jerome’s crisis as soon as possible.
I thank you on behalf of my beloved brother for allowing me to address you today.
November 1, 2012