Television host Melissa Harris-Perry profiled the SALT Center's Jason Benson, of Chillicothe, in her "Foot Soldier" segment on cable TV's MSNBC on Saturday (Jan. 5). The SALT Center is a homeless shelter which Benson started two years ago when he, himself, was homeless.
Benson opened the center after having served time in the county jail on a charge of driving under the influence. After his release, he said he decided to help other homeless people without discrimination.
"It was important to me to emphasize this, because I wasn't born in extreme poverty. I wasn't raised by abusive or unloving parents, quite the opposite actually," Benson said. "I learned that poverty, addiction, and homelessness doesn't discriminate, so why should I?"
Currently, the center provides meals, beds, and access to local and regional resources in a clean and sober environment.
"We are addressing poverty and homelessness by focusing on education and recovery by offering options and opportunities," he said.
The SALT (Simply Achieving Life's Triumphs) Center is the only homeless shelter in the surrounding 15 rural counties.
At the close of her segment, Harris-Perry states: "For opening the doors of life's triumphs to the hidden homeless in our rural communities, Jason Benson is our Foot Soldier of the week."
Benson was nominated for the recognition by two individuals from Polo.