Born in Chicago, Lowell Jones spent the first six years of his life bouncing between foster homes and boy’s schools. During his childhood and most of his young adult life, Lowell went through numerous challenging experiences including drug addiction, depression, prison term, and a tragic loss of his brother who was fatally shot and died in his arms.
Lowell joined the military service at seventeen. At that time, he was also married and had his first and only child. Upon release from his service, Lowell found himself broke and homeless with nowhere to go. At the age of 22 he was living on Skid Row in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. He spent the next 27 years of his life in and out of prison, addicted to crack cocaine and being homeless on the streets of Skid Row. He slept in alleys, ate out of garbage cans, and felt no shame standing in the mission lines waiting to be served. That is how his life went, year after year, until he walked through the doors of Amity Foundation, where he would finally be given a chance to learn what it means to be a man, how to live with integrity and honor. Amity Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the inclusion and rehabilitation of individuals and families affected by issues such as homelessness, addiction, crime, trauma, and violence.
His journey of change started in 2007 when he was provided housing and a job through the Foundation. He did not actively maintain his recovery and fell into relapse. His determination and hard work helped him become Amity faculty in 2010. That same year, he began working for Amity as a Mentor for the Second Chance Mentoring Program. In 2011, he was awarded Mentor of the Year by the City of Los Angeles, The State Assembly, and the California State Senate. In 2011 he was hired to do data entry for The Second Chance Mentoring Act. Jones has worked as an outreach specialist by helping homeless people on Skid Row area to enroll into mental health services.
Lowell worked for the Amity Foundation as a Housing Specialist and is now working for Volunteers of America as a Mentor Specialist. Lowell is a strong advocate in helping others like him to obtain housing and services they need to change their lives. Lowell demonstrates what it means to be a leader, a mentor, advocate, and a role model to those who suffer from homelessness, drug addiction, and mental illness.
In 2010, Lowell moved into his Section 8 apartment under HACLA’s Shelter plus Care Program and enrolled into the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program.
“This was the best thing that could have happened to me,” said Lowell. “The program taught me how to grow up, how to live, how to respect not just myself but others as well, with the help of the case managers, mental, medical, peer to peer groups and all the services I had at my feet, I was able to grow into a different person,” shared Lowell.
Lowell is currently living in south Los Angeles, and with the help of the FSS program, working on becoming a homeowner.
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