Brandon joined Community Connections for Independent Living (CCFIL) in 2015 after being involved in a serious car accident and sustaining a traumatic brain injury. When asked about his initial expectations of the program, Brandon stated, “I thought it was going to be like a prison; being held by the hand, told what to do, what not to do, or even how to do it.” Brandon’s perspective has since evolved. “It wasn’t anything like I thought it would be”, he states.
Brandon credits CCFIL’s Occupational Therapists and rehabilitation specialists for changing his outlook and alleviating his apprehension. “The therapists will tailor your program according to what you need and what you don’t need. I built a relationship with each and every one of them,” Brandon explains, “It’s different because they don’t look at you as if you have a brain injury, or that something is wrong with you. They look at you as a human being and they treat you like a human being.”
Treating others with dignity and respect is one of many fundamental elements of CCFIL and one that it values wholeheartedly. “There are all ages within the program. I am friends with a lot of the different residents here. We all support each other,” states Brandon.
Community Connections allows each resident to take ownership of their individual goals and objectives as well as the process in which to accomplish them. Brandon’s hopes from the beginning was to become employed. “The therapists helped me to get on the route that I wanted to go, like working in the Henry Ford Hospital, as well as another job at a Pancake Factory.” While CCFIL’s Supported Employment program helped Brandon obtain these two positions, his hard work and ambition have allowed him to achieve this goal.
Brandon is also determined to obtain his high school diploma. He cheerfully states, “The program is helping me out, got me into [a program] that teaches and allows you to get your high school diploma.” Since coming to CCFIL, Brandon has made significant academic progress and is diligently working towards credits necessary for his degree.
“Come here with an open mind and a clean slate, and you’ll find out that it’s nothing like you thought it was going to be”, advises Brandon.
Brandon is mindful and appreciative of his accomplishments since entering our program, and his enthusiasm continues to guide him towards his goals. “[Before the accident] at home, I was depressed and needing my own space” he says. “[Now]I am completely different and for the better.”