At just 23 years old, Bryan has been through more ups and downs than most people have in a lifetime. In a cozy suburban Chicago home, he lived a normal, happy childhood with family and friends. When his mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer, however, things took a turn for the worse.
Bryan was the sole caretaker of his mother for four years until she passed away. “It was a heartbreaking loss and I felt alone and confused,” he said. Still, he realized that life must go on and decided to move to St. Louis for a fresh start.
Unable to find steady employment, Bryan ran low on money and eventually became homeless. “I moved from shelter to shelter and looked for work.” Eventually, he heard about the employment programs at St. Patrick Center, which is affiliated with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of St. Louis, and immediately got involved.
“I came to St. Patrick Center looking for a job. I found housing and a place where I can build a better future.” Since the start of his journey, Bryan has participated in multiple programs, including City Seeds and the Shamrock Club, where his hard work and perseverance led him to a place of his own. “It’s nice knowing that St. Patrick Center has my back. Having my own apartment allows me to focus on myself and continue making improvements each day.”
Bryan shows his gratitude by volunteering several times a week at St. Patrick Center, however he may be needed. “St. Patrick Center has given me so much help and support, but most importantly, they’ve taught me how to enjoy life again.”