JOPPA honors life of Charles Childs


DES MOINES – The local advocacy group is taking the time to honor a volunteer of 10 years. 

69-year-old Charles Michael Childs was killed while he was walking down a sidewalk when he was struck from behind by a white, four-door car. 

Police have arrested and charged 21-year-old Donterius Jamar Bomar with Attempted Murder in the case, and detectives are awaiting additional forensic testing results that could result in an upgraded charge.

Charles’ fatal accident took many by surprise, including the staff at JOPPA.

“I don’t think I could wrap my mind around the fact that Charles’ life would be ended that way. Expecially having recently seen him,” said JOPPA’s Volunteer Coordinator, Mel Guanci. 

Guanci built a lasting relationship with Charles over time. She never expected his life to be taken so suddenly. 

“He was actually really special to me because he was the first homeless person that we serve, that I developed a relationship with when I was new,” said Guanci.

His infectious personality could touch anyone. 

“Charles was a really wonderful man. one of my favorite things about him was his quick wit. He was very personable and hardworking! He was very hardworking,” said JOPPA’s Operation and Client Services Director, Aimee Smith.

The staff at JOPPA will forever remember Charles Michael Childs for his generosity. 

“When we heard somebody in that camp had gone, my first thought was Charles, because you know he, he’s quite the guy, and I was really sad when we got up there and found it was. We love him,” said JOPPA’s Warehouse Director, Pat McPherren. 

They hope a memorial for him will comemorate a life taken too soon. 

“I think when homeless people pass away they’re forgotten and people just think of it as just another homeless person. I want people to know that Charles was a fantastic individual and that he had lots of people that cared about him. He cared about people and was always giving back. He was a person just like you and I,” said Smith.

If you’d like to attend the memorial for Childs, it will be next Friday at 11AM. It’s being held at the Lutheran Church of Hope in downtown Des Moines. That’s on ingersoll avenue. The employees at JOPPA say everyone is welcome.

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