GA shelter seeks help finding family of elderly homeless man

Published: Dec. 19, 2015 at 4:28 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2015 at 2:34 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A local homeless shelter in the valley area wants to help an elderly man find family and friends. House of Mercy says it's been a full year since the 89-year-old man came to them.

The House of Mercy contacted News Leader 9 about Jesus Carisma, hoping someone will recognize him.  But they just want family and friends to know he's okay even if no one comes to get him from the shelter.

Born on Christmas Day in 1925, Jesus Carisma is well known at the House of Mercy in Columbus, and sometimes called 'Grandpa.'

"Every now and then he says he wants to go home," said Johanne Harris, Executive Director.

House of Mercy's Executive Director Johanne Harris says they've been trying to locate family or friends since the 89-year-old was dropped off by taxi in November 2014.

"We got a call from St. Francis Hospital saying they had him. They were getting ready to release him but he did not have a place to live and they would not release him until they found somewhere for him to leave. I told them we would take him here," said Harris.

They have very little information about where he was living and with who before coming to the House of Mercy. Carisma was able to give a list of names of a possible wife and children.

"They are in Guam. He's from Guam and I think the wife's name is Maria Carisma," said Harris.

Carisma has a vague memory of where he was before the House of Mercy, but can't remember all the details.

"It's the big house," said Jesus Carisma. He was asked if he was living with anyone else and he answered yes but he doesn't remember who.

House of Mercy wants to make sure they've done everything to find someone who knows Jesus a week before Christmas.

"I've called the police department, they do not have a missing person record on him. I also called Missing Persons and they don't have any information on him either," said Harris.

Even if he has to spend another Christmas at the shelter, Harris says he's well taken care of either way.

"He eats three meals a day, we keep him clean. He has a man that takes care of him. He has nice clothes to wear,'' Harris said.

House of Mercy says if you know anything about Jesus Carisma, you're asked to give the shelter a call at (706) 322-6463.

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