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Brad

“I’m starting a new phase of my life,” he says with a smile. “I’m looking forward to moving on.” 

Helping the HUNGRY, Homeless and Hurting

When Brad came to the US from Syria, like a lot of immigrants, he took the job he could get, not the one that best utilized his skills. “I worked as a mechanic,” he tells us. “I don’t mind working with my hands.” 

That says a lot for someone with a degree in English literature and speaks four languages. But the path to a new life in America wasn’t as straight forward as he hoped.  

The cascade of issues began to build when his mother died just before the pandemic. Not long after his father didn’t survive a COVID-19 infection. Then he was evicted, not only taking away his place to sleep, but it threatened his livelihood, too. “I lost my tools,” Brad reports. “They were in the apartment. They were expensive.”  

Without his tools, he couldn’t stay at his old job. He took a job at an automobile paint shop, but that didn’t last long. At the same time, landed at a local hotel until his money ran out. His car became his only option. A month was enough. “This can’t happen anymore,” he told himself. That’s when he turned to Google. 

“Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission came up at the top of the search,” Brad remember

Now that life is getting more stable, Brad’s dreaming about his next steps. “I want to find a place to live, and a career,” he says. “One that uses my skills – maybe as an interpreter?”

Brad’s approach to his homelessness is pragmatic. “After college, when I was in the Syrian Air Force boot camp,” he tells us, “I learned that what was most important was to have food, a shower and a place to stay.” Now that he has those basics once again, it’s time to do more. 

“When Brad came to the Sunday Breakfast it was clear that he just needed a break,” says Clinical Chaplain, Ken. “He seemed to be a great candidate for the Next Level program.” 

Next Level provides counseling, transitional housing and support for a guest’s job search on their way to becoming self-sufficient. “Brad is definitely committed to getting back on his feet,” Ken observes. 

Soon after arriving at Sunday breakfast, Brad had a job in a Philadelphia factory. He likes the Sunday Breakfast savings program, that puts 20% of a guest’s take-home pay into an account that he can use for housing when he leaves. “It’s a great way to teach people how to manage money.” 

Now that life is getting more stable, Brad’s dreaming about his next steps. “I want to find a place to live, and a career,” he says. “One that uses my skills – maybe as an interpreter?” 

“I’m starting a new phase of my life,” he says with a smile. “I’m looking forward to moving on.” 

 

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