Jeb Meredith: An Impossible Purpose

Mar 20, 2024 | Alumni, The Journey

By Sarah Cross ’24

I barely had a high school diploma,” Jeb says.

At 57 years old, Jeb Meredith ’18 decided to earn his college degree while living in Peace Park in Houston, Texas. In a tent. He had been homeless since 2001.

Jeb grew up in Conroe, Texas, forty miles north of Houston, but didn’t always live in Texas. During his years of homelessness, he traveled the country–“from one end of it to the other”–weaving his way through various church denominations and discovering his purpose in the world.

“We’re just passers-through here,” Jeb says. “My purpose is to direct you to where you’re going.”

And so, he decided to get an education. To Jeb, getting a college degree seemed impossible given his circumstances. But, he knew his situation couldn’t stop God’s plan. Jeb researched Christian universities all over the country—he learned as much as he could from their websites.

“The internet is a really cool thing if you operate it properly,” Jeb says.

Eventually, he found Grace Christian University and began a two-year degree program. But it wasn’t easy—he had no formal education experience. He dropped out of high school in 11th grade and didn’t earn his GED until 12 years later. But, Grace allowed him to work at his own pace. He spent three years working on an Associate of Arts degree with an emphasis in Leadership and Ministry.

“I spent a lot of time researching. Sometimes 16 hours a day,” Jeb says. “It took me every bit of that time to manage to muster the grades that I got.”

Down the street from Peace Park, there was an Episcopalian church with a street ministry called the Trinity Center—it was at that church where Jeb completed most of his degree. In 2018, at 60 years old, Jeb became a college graduate.

“I’m dumber than a box of rocks,” Jeb says, “but I did it. And if I can, you can too.”

In 2021, Jeb moved into Community First Village in Austin, Texas—a community designed for those coming out of chronic homelessness. The founders, Alan and Tricia Graham, began with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a food truck that travels to homeless communities.

“They’re very hands-on people when it comes to this business. They have dedicated their entire lives to it,” Jeb says.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes was Jeb’s first interaction with the Grahams—they invited him to Community First Village twice before Jeb finally trusted the Grahams enough to move in.

At Community First Village, everything is designed to enhance community with shared spaces and access to support.

“You don’t even have to leave here,” Jeb says.

Jeb’s home in the Community First Village

Jeb’s home in the Community First Village


Today, Jeb lives in a community of people stepping out of chronic homelessness and into hope. And Jeb gets to be part of that journey–with his personal understanding and first-hand experience with chronic homelessness, he knows how to connect with members of the community.

“It takes a lot for a person to decompress from that, to become un-brainwashed, you might say,” Jeb says. “So, you have to go about talking to them about everything in a different manner than you would with anyone else. It’s a hard thing to do.”

Jeb’s goal is to communicate the truth with members of Community First Village: “I put out there what I know to be the facts—the truth. Grace Christian University is the one school that made that happen.”

Thanks to Grace, Jeb is equipped to share the gospel with members of his community and help them toward their God-given purpose as they lay the foundation for their future.


Read more stories like this in The Journey Magazine | Spring 2024 >


Sarah Cross ’24 is a student in the communication program and a freelance writer and editor.

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