Location: Gateway Center
Male, Age 30
“I would describe myself as a determined person
an Outgoing Person”
Daniel Enger (Interviewer) Good morning Brandon, today is November 10, 2021, my name is Daniel Enger and I have the pleasure of being here with Brandon. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk, I’m looking forward to hearing your story and learning from you. My first question for you Brandon is a really big one namely, please tell the story of your life from the time you were a small child up to the present day.
Brandon: I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland I played Pee Wee football all the way up into the professional level, went to a really great elementary school which actually was a grammar school. We learned like different languages, different physical education activities, middle school was a good time for me I was in the band, played football, played baseball, boxed for a while. High school was definitely a good thing for me I played varsity football for four years, I played basketball and baseball three sport All American. College was a pretty good time for me also as well, I actually finished my degree with mechanical engineering from Louisburg College, from Louisburg College I actually got a chance to play with the Winnipeg Jets, in Winnipeg, Canada which was a great time Canada is a really beautiful place way different experience than in America. I had a pretty good time there made a pretty decent living there playing football. Sadly, my career ended from a knee injury to where I just started coaching after that. Became homeless at about 21 the first time, I was homeless for about three years, I finally had got some work at a warehouse doing maintenance which I maintained for about four years. I actually just became homeless again because of the pandemic as recently early 2020 I became homeless again I’ve been homeless ever since.
Daniel: Brandon, of all the things that you’ve accomplished and overcome in life so far what are you most proud of?
Brandon: Most proud of being actually able to play football in Winnipeg that was a great time in my life actually I got to meet a lot of new people I got outside the country to see different parts of the world that we have here
Daniel: Brandon, you gained a lot of hard-fought wisdom from these experiences in your life so far, if you were invited to share your wisdom with school kids in your community to give them guidance to live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives what would you say to those kids?
Brandon: I would tell those kids to definitely get their education, education is key to anything you want to do. Stay positive, stay around positive people, stay away from drugs, and stay focused when they’re in their classes, and always listen to their parents.
Daniel: Brandon, in what ways would you say that your life is going well these days? Please talk a little bit about how life is good for you at the present time.
Brandon: Life is good for me at the present time because I am at Gateway Center in Atlanta, Georgia which their teaching me life skills, they’re giving me a chance to learn and work, and to focus more on getting my mentality together as far as being a productive adult.
Daniel: Brandon, what led to things going well for you, how did that happen, who or what has contributed most to you doing well these days?
Brandon: My mom she’s actually keeping me together mentally making sure that I stay positive every day no matter what the outcome of life is always stay positive, always keeping God first and focus on myself.
Daniel: Looking ahead please Brandon when it comes to living a healthy, safe, stable, and happy life what are your hopes and dreams looking ahead?
Brandon: Hopes and dreams looking ahead are to get with a great company out here in Atlanta, Georgia, working hard every day, moving my way up the corporate ladder, just focusing on my health, strength, and my spirituality.
Daniel: Brandon, what are some of the personal strengths that you have that you draw on as you pursue your hopes and dreams?
Brandon: My education, actually getting a college degree actually taught me to even in the hard times to keep persevering, keep going. Persevere, keep going, and staying focused on my daily task and being an upright citizen.
Daniel: Brandon, what challenges and obstacles do you see standing between you and the realization of your hopes and dreams. What holds you back?
Brandon: To be honest with you Sir myself, I’m the only person that holds me back in this world, I firmly believe that.
Daniel: Well, what needs to be done so that those challenges and obstacles that you just mentioned can be overcome and you can realize your personal hopes and dreams?
Brandon: I’m currently handling that at Gateway right now, the Gateway Center is definitely giving me a chance to give to myself and become self-sufficient. To find ways to deal with the problems other than drugs and things like that and I’m definitely learning about myself.
Daniel: Brandon, I’d like to ask a series of questions now about your perspective on the homeless community in Atlanta. The first is how would you describe the homeless community in Atlanta? Who are the people who make up the homeless community in Atlanta?
Brandon: The people that make up the homeless community are actually good people they just had a rough time in life, and you know life’s hard problems came,0020and lot of them don’t really know how to deal with life on life’s terms. As far as not getting the mental health care they need, or can’t afford the mental health care they need, physical ailments stops a lot of people, and mainly just not having the resources you know.
Daniel: And when it comes to the homeless community in Atlanta from what you’ve observed so far when it comes to living a healthy, safe, stable, and happy life how would you describe the hopes and dreams of the members of the homeless community in Atlanta?
Brandon: The hopes and dreams of a lot of people in the Atlanta area they definitely have a lot of talent they just don’t have a place to flourish their talent, or don’t have the home or the necessary medical help they need, and that’s a real big problem in Atlanta.
Daniel: Brandon, in your community what are some of the strengths that people draw on as they strive to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives? How would you describe some of the biggest strengths of the people in the homeless community in Atlanta?
Brandon: perseverance, definitely perseverance, strength, self-will, self-determination, they just don’t have the resources
Daniel: Brandon, what challenges and obstacles make it harder for people in the homeless community in Atlanta to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives. What holds people back?
Brandon: housing, housing definitely holds people back not having a place to sleep and rest, and take adequate showers, eat adequate meals.
Daniel: What needs to be done to overcome that challenge?
Brandon: More resources definitely, more places to shelter, more access to shelters, more access to nutritional food, more access to good healthcare.
Daniel: Brandon, imagine you were a powerful leader a decision maker who could really make things happen how would you change the system to help people in the homeless community in Atlanta to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives? As a powerful leader how would you change the system to help the homeless people in Atlanta?
Brandon: I would change the system by getting out in the community more, I would get out in the community more and have more resources out for the homeless. Sit around and really interview the homeless and see what they need to become an adequate adult. See what healthcare they need, see what nutritional care they need, mental healthcare they need. If I was a strong leader, I would definitely look into those three things cause that’s the main things that hinder people like homeless people from living an adequate life.
Daniel: Brandon, imagine you had a million dollars, and you could spend it to help the homeless community to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives how exactly would you spend that money?
Brandon: More transitional housing, more work programs, skilled trade programs.
Daniel: Brandon, is there anything else that you would like to say, anything I haven’t asked you about? Something that’s in your mind or heart right now that you’d like to share?
Brandon: The homeless population in Atlanta are really great people they just don’t really have a chance to flourish their talents because their lacking in housing, healthcare things of that nature, if they had that they definitely would flourish their talents. The homeless population in Atlanta would definitely decrease