Stories

C.D.

C.D. grew up one of nine children in northern Maine and served in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1986. He would have loved to continue his career in the Army, but life’s path led him elsewhere.

When C.D. arrived at Homes for the Brave in 2011, he was frustrated with his inability to find a job and found it difficult to ask for help. He had been raised to make finding a job his number one priority and had been working since he was 12 years old. While at HFTB, C.D. was able to focus on his goals, manage his medical issues and look for permanent housing.

In April 2011, C.D. moved to Waldorf House, where he had more independence but could still access the staff and resources at HFTB. He joined an employment program where he will receive more than 290 hours of training and practical experience for several in-demand career paths. C.D. is looking forward to moving closer to his goals and living his life with a healthier, more positive attitude.

P.A.

P.A. spent several months at Homes for the Brave during the past year. Previously, he was living in his car and attending Norwalk Community College as a fulltime student. While at Homes for the Brave, this U.S. Army Veteran was able to save money, find permanent housing, and achieve his best academic semester. Today, P.A. is completing his degree in Construction Technology and Architecture, and has become the first HFTB graduate known to purchase his own home in Bridgeport, Connecticut after leaving the program. P.A. will be using his education and skills to renovate this hundred-year-old house.

S.R.

S.R. came to Homes for the Brave last year because he was “sick and tired of bein’ sick and tired.” Born in South Carolina and raised in Stamford, S.R. was the only one of 11 children to graduate from high school. Later, he went on to the Weschester Business Institute for Business Management and later on to Porter & Chester Institute for Auto Mechanics.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1980, and as a cook, he served nearly 2,000 troops while stationed in Hawaii. He also served with the 902nd Engineers and bridge builders at Ft Belvoir, VA and won the “Best Cooks in the Field” award for his Pineapple Upside-Down cake. In 1984, he got married, had kids, and went to West Germany to serve with a field artillery unit for 18 months. He received 2 honorable discharges for service.

Things started to get rocky during the 90’s when S.R. lost his father, started drinking, and got divorced. He moved to Waterbury where he was in and out of jail and lived on the streets. He finally got his life turned around in 2010, after going through a 21 day program and with the help of a mentor who is a church deacon. SR now attends church and reads his Bible regularly. He also volunteers with the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program and looks forward to taking some entrepreneurial classes in the near future.

R.D.

R.D. enlisted in the Army at the young age of 18, served for three years and was honorably discharged. After leaving the army, R.D. struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction, which led to his incarceration for 13 years. It was not until R.D. was unemployed and sleeping in his car that he decided it was time to get help. After completing a 21-day substance abuse treatment program, he found Homes for the Brave.

When R.D. entered Homes for the Brave, his only source of income was a small Social Security disability pension. HFTB helped R.D. find part-time construction, which soon led to full-time employment. Not long after, he gave up his disability pension. R.D. began working for Homes for the Brave and because of his excellent work ethic, he was offered a full-time position as House Manager. R.D. helps residents by sharing his own experiences as a way to inspire others to continue on their journey of recovery from substance abuse and mental illness.

Today, R.D. has moved into his own apartment, remains clean and sober, and has maintained a steady job that he thoroughly enjoys. Inspired by his love for his work and by his own experiences, R.D. is preparing to go back to school to study Human Services.