James Johnson Community Service Memorial

James Johnson Community Service Memorial

Two years ago, we met James while he was unhoused in the Wood Street encampment. After some heartfelt discussions, it was clear he wanted to turn his life around, and we were able to assist him in joining Lake Merritt Lodge. It wasn’t long before he and his wife called the Lodge their home.

James’s commitment to improving his life was evident. He proactively sought employment and secured a job at the 7-Eleven on Harrison in Oakland. His work ethic was unmatched, and he became a strong advocate for his fellow Lodge residents. He often reached out to us for support, and our relationship quickly evolved from acquaintances to friends. As time went by, James became a confidant. We regularly visited him at both his workplace and the Lodge, where his positive influence was always apparent.

Earlier this year, James faced a personal tragedy when his wife passed away in Las Vegas. He planned to return to Vegas to settle her affairs. We spoke last week about arranging transportation for him to go back and start a new chapter. Tragically, this new beginning was not to be. This past Friday, we received the heart-wrenching news that James was fatally shot at his job at 7-Eleven, where he worked as a security guard.

The loss of James is a profound one. He was not just a hard worker but an individual with an incredible spirit and a heart full of kindness. As we mourn the loss of James, we also celebrate his life – a life marked by unwavering determination and a spirit that inspired everyone around him. We remember James as a man who tirelessly worked to create the life he envisioned, a life that was sadly cut far too short.

In the wake of losing James, a cherished member of our community, we at Urban Compassion Project honored his legacy in a way that reflects the determination and kindness he embodied. We celebrated James’s life and continued his legacy of positive impact by organizing a community litter pick-up.  

Thank you to all who came together  to clean up the neighborhood around the very 7-Eleven where James made a difference every day.  This was a beautiful act of community kindness, remembering a man who tirelessly worked to better his life and the lives of those around him.

Urban Compassion Project

We are saddened to share a story close to our hearts – the story of James, a beloved member of our community whose journey with us was filled with hope, determination, and resilience.

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