I hurried inside the Phoenixville office and shook the droplets off my umbrella. It was gray and sad outside, but stepping into that office was like walking into the sunshine. Gina’s cheerful smile welcomed me in as Rich shook my hand, inviting me to the round table where two gentlemen sat. It was early, and each of them held their coffee cups as though it was their source of consciousness. Once seated, Rich introduced me to Emanuel who was on my right, and Brad to my left. Both had just finished a graveyard shift and yet were gracious enough to still sit down with me to tell their stories before they went to bed.
After chatting with Emanuel, it was just Brad and me at the table. His presence was calming. Even though he was certainly exhausted from working, his spirit was restful. He began to speak and I could tell he’s a very salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. Casual but intentional. Before coming to Good Sam, Brad was living in a very unstable environment. Having roommates can be tough, but living with someone who leads an unhealthy and erratic life can drain every last bit of you. Where Brad had lived, it was unsafe, overwhelming, and unhealthy. It wasn’t until after Brad was hospitalized for a severe case of pneumonia that he realized he desperately needed a new place to live. The problem was, he had been laid off from his job at the steel company. He found himself in a very challenging and unsettling situation.
Coming to Good Samaritan Services
It was February of 2019 when Brad made his way to us. When looking online for someplace that could help him, he recognized Good Samaritan Services. Our reputation within the community was enough for Brad to know that we were a safe place to seek shelter and assistance.
As we spoke, it became clear that Brad was very hesitant to trust people. He’d been through a lot in his lifetime, and people had continually let him down. It made sense. I asked him what gave him the ability to trust Good Sam. He told me that he knew Good Sam was the perfect fit for him when he came in for his interview during a bitterly cold day with no gloves on. Our Resident Director, Rich Baxter, took notice and gave the gloves right off of his hands and gave them to Brad. Any hesitation Brad had melted away when he experienced firsthand how Good Sam and our staff are composed of kind and compassionate hearts. He felt safe staying in our emergency shelter, and later our transitional housing.
Where is Brad Now?
Over the past few months, Brad has participated in our job training program, where he learned how to develop a resume, interview skills, and listening skills. He is currently living in our transitional housing in Phoenixville while working the graveyard shift at a supermarket in maintenance. He is currently pursuing to find a job within his skillset of steel working.
Brad says that because of Good Sam, he now has peace of mind. The positivity of the staff and participants surrounding him makes him feel hopeful for the future.