On the left is Jessie W. Freeman and to the right is Jessie D. Freeman

Happy Social Worker Month! DSHS’ Western State Hospital has two social workers named Jessie Freeman. They are both awesome social workers, but they each have their own story to tell.

Jessie W. Freeman

Jessie W. Freeman is a social worker on ward S9 (on the left in the photograph above). He was born and raised in the West African country of Sierra Leone. He obtained an associate degree from the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology in Freetown, before coming to the U.S. in 2001 with his family as a refugee from the Sierra Leone Civil War.

After settling in the states he attended Tacoma Community College for an associate degree and The Evergreen State College for his bachelor’s degree. In 2009, Jessie earned his Master of Social Work the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Since graduating, he has worked for Metropolitan Development Council and Pioneer Human Services in Tacoma, and then spent seven years as a rehabilitation counselor at the Special Commitment Center. Jessie was motivated to become a social worker due to the help that he and his family received from the social workers who assisted them when they first arrived in the states.

“I feel like as a refugee they helped us to transition to life in the U.S. I feel like I’m paying back the debt by becoming a social worker,” he said.

Jessie D. Freeman

Jessie D. Freeman is a social worker on ward C7. He was also born and raised in Sierra Leone, and left there due to the civil war. Jessie was a highly accomplished soccer player there. He played at the professional level and was planning a career in soccer until the civil war forced him to leave the country.

He initially re-settled in the neighboring country of Gambia before coming to the U.S. Jessie joined the U.S. Army after arriving here, and became a combat engineer. He served in Iraq, and his duties entailed clearing the highway from Baghdad to Tikrit of improvised explosive devices.

After finishing his army service, Jessie attended Pierce College and Evergreen State College. He worked for Lutheran Community Services in the refugee resettlement program, and for Comprehensive Life Resources’ Park Place adult residential treatment facility for several years while in graduate school. In 2017, Jessie earned his MSW from the University of Washington, Tacoma. Jessie was highly motivated to become a social worker and to work in the mental health field because he has family members who have experienced mental health challenges.

“It’s personal for me. I want to help because it’s affected my own family,” he said.

Jessie and Jessie WSH is proud to have you both as members of our social work team.