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Meet our Community: Brian

Updated: Jul 2



For this month’s client highlight, we met with Brian to discuss his experience with Thrive and his journey locating housing. Brian has lived in Central Oregon for four years and his favorite activity is spending quality time with his dogs. He also enjoys gardening and being involved with his church groups.


*Attention* The following article discusses sensitive topics, including suicide. If you or someone you know is suicidal, there is help available. You can find hotlines and mental health supports on our Mental Health resource flyer on our website. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 988, which is answered 24/7.


Before connecting to Thrive, Brian experienced a personal tragedy. Brian was a full-time caregiver for his little brother for 27 years. A few years ago, his little brother died by suicide. “My life fell apart,” Brian said. Brian also went through a back surgery that made things much worse for him. When reflecting back on this time in his life, Brian said, “I didn’t want to live and I was thinking about suicide myself. I knew that it was in my future and every day I put it off. Life got really bad and then, on top of all that, I was looking at being homeless with my two dogs. It was all overwhelming. I got some help from doctors and my psychologist connected me to Thrive.”


Brian’s goal when he first met with us was to find a place to live as soon as possible. “I cared about my dogs having a place to live way more than myself,” Brian said. When he was pulled for the housing choice voucher, he said that he didn’t know where to start. “When I heard I got the voucher but had to then find a home, I wanted to give up. That’s when someone told me about Thrive. I was so incredibly grateful that there was a group of people that helped people in my situation. It brought me a sense of peace.”


Brian regularly worked with Community Outreach Specialist Katy to locate housing. “There’s a big thing I want to say about Katy. If I measured her volume of effort, she put more effort into finding a place for me to live than every single person in my life prior added together. To say that that affects me emotionally is a big understatement,” Brian said. When talking about his overall experience working with Thrive, Brian said, “Thrive has increased my maturity. I no longer feel ashamed. I no longer measure my success on whether or not I own things like a home. I no longer see the social classes the way that I do. It really rocked my perspective on reality in a really positive way. It has humbled me in a good way. It’s done a lot for me.” 


Brian discussed some of the emotions that he experienced when he first worked with Thrive. “When I first came to Thrive, I would say that I had some pride issues. I felt ashamed to be asking for help. I felt ashamed for being the age that I am and not being where I thought I should be in life. When I first came to Thrive, I was so embarrassed.”


Brian’s advice for others who might be in a similar situation is, “There is that fear and/or assumption that help won’t be available to you. Allow yourself to realize that hard times happen to everyone. Just do it. Ask for help. The help is absolutely there. Allow good things to happen to you. I have gone from being suicidal to my life being better than it ever has been before. Please don’t make my mistake and have a pride problem. Please don’t let embarrassment keep you from seeking help.”


When talking about what his life looks like today, Brian said, “For more than half of my life, I dedicated myself to others’ needs and wants. This is the first place with my dogs. After 27 years of focusing on someone else’s life, I am now living my own life. I have a place. I have a home with my two dogs where I can garden. I have never experienced this kind of peacefulness in my life. There is such a huge change in me that I feel like I am not the same person anymore. This comes from having this place to live which has been made possible by Katy and Thrive.”


When asked if he had any final thoughts he wanted to share with the community, Brian said, “Yes. I am extremely grateful to this community. This community is awesome. I’d like to give a little shout out to this community because it is beautifully humble. I have been denied three times for being a volunteer at the humane society. What an awesome thing that is to say that there are too many volunteers. You guys then create organizations like Thrive. Houseless individuals and their dogs are being helped more than any other community that I have lived in.”


Brian’s favorite quote is,

“You need to learn to be comfortable about being wrong.”

Thank you Brian for sharing your story!


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