Jason Kelley talks about his role with Metro Relief
The Colony Courier-Leader Staff Report
Jason Kelley Courtesy of Jason Kelley
Jason Kelley used to patrol the streets. Now he helps those who often live there. Kelley is the executive director at Metro Relief. Below, he talks about his role with the organization, how he was called to help the underprivileged and what he likes to do in his spare time.
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I’ve lived in The Colony all my life. I graduated TCHS in 1995.
Tell us about your family.
I met my wife in kindergarten when our families were looking for someone who lived close, so we could carpool to school. We actually lived on the same street. We still live on the same street, right between our parents. It’s great because our six children have gotten to spend lots of quality time with their grandparents on a weekly basis.
How long have you been involved with Metro Relief?
Since the beginning. For eight years now.
How did you become involved with the organization?
I used to be judgmental toward people who had problems. I was nice to them, but in my mind I thought “It’s their own fault. They could change if they wanted to.” One night I felt like I was being taught that I would never be able to help people by pointing my finger at them, but I could make a difference by opening my arms and hugging them. This calling was so loud and clear I felt compelled to leave a great job at the police department the next morning without having a clue as to what I was supposed to do next. I’ve been with Metro Relief ever since, where every week I get to help hurting people get out of the situation that is hurting them.
What all do you do as executive director?
I oversee the operations. I help out with every aspect of Metro Relief, from cleaning toilets, to outreaches, to fundraising, to making important decisions on how to best help someone in need.
What do people in the area need to know about Metro Relief?
We are “the” resource center in The Colony, and a mobile resource center in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Because of that, we need your help. Different businesses, churches and city departments tell people to reach out to us for help on bills, shelter, recovery programs, jobs, etc… Again, we need your help. We rely solely on volunteers and donors that are able to give of their time, energy and money to provide for these needs.
Has there been someone Metro Relief has helped whose story really stands out to you?
There are thousands of stories I could share. One of the most recent ones was when we helped a homeless man named “A” who moved from Iowa to The Colony to get away from a bad situation and make a change. We helped him with rent at Budget Suites for a month and helped him get a job. Since then, I met another homeless person named “J” in Dallas. My first friend, “A” invited “J” to share the apartment with him to share the cost. “A” let “J” stay there for a month rent free just so he could have some breathing room and save money. “A” also was able to secure a job for “J.” Now they work and live together, and everything is working out wonderfully. A man who used to be homeless is able to give back and help another homeless man. That doesn’t happen every day, but it’s happening here in The Colony.
How many trips does Metro Relief make each year to help people in need?
Our mobile resource bus and volunteers go out three times a week, every week, to some of the worst parts of The Colony, Dallas and Fort Worth.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend time with my wife and kids as much as possible.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I sing and play guitar. I write songs, and I lead worship at church. I like to read, and play football and racquetball.