Campus of Change

Ending Homelessness in the Fox Valley

Brad: Finding Stability

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 by


Brad* began his young adult life with an admirable goal: To become an architect. He went to college for 1 ½ years to study architecture, and even found a job at an architectural firm. However, once he saw what day-to-day life was like as an architect, he realized it wasn’t for him.

Around the same time, he ran out of money. “My family’s always been in financial crisis,” he explains. “My family has gone through a lot…my dad’s in prison. There’s been a lot of heartache.”

Without receiving financial support from his family, Brad felt like he didn’t have any choice except to drop out of college. Finding himself with no career prospects, he began drinking heavily. His heavy drinking led to a string of poor choices. Eventually, he lost his apartment and found himself with nowhere to go.

“I want to have a happy life”

Fortunately, Brad found COTS. The now-24-year-old has been in COTS’ Young Adult Program for the past year. He explains, “I’ve been in troubled spots in my lifetime. I’ve been trying to learn from my mistakes and move on. I want to have a happy life.”

“I’ve been learning a lot financially,” Brad continues. “Financial Peace University has been working well.” Brad’s major goal is to pay down the student loans he accrued while in college. He has paid down $1,500 in debt since being at COTS.

Brad has also found job stability, which he hadn’t had until recently. With the assistance of COTS and Riverview Gardens, a close partner of COTS, Brad was able to find a stable, full-time job. “Job stability was the number one thing I needed,” Brad explains.

Helping animals in need

Brad has also been giving back to the community by volunteering at a local animal rescue. He has volunteered “thousands” of hours working there. “Every hour that I’m there, I just love it,” he grins. “It’s my home away from home.”

Brad also recently received assistance from the COTS Barrier Removal Fund, which helped him get back his driver’s license. Now, Brad hopes to save up enough money to purchase his own vehicle. After paying down debt, Brad’s ultimate goal is, “To have a good, stable job—something I can be stable with. And have a family.”

*Name has been changed to protect resident’s privacy