Bruce and Brayden: An Unexpected Journey Leads to New Beginnings

December 7, 2020

“I can’t believe where we were and where we are. Being homeless was actually a new beginning. Family Promise made all the difference.”


Photo of Bruce and Brayden.When single dad Bruce found himself unemployed, he could see twists and turns in the road ahead. But he never imagined his journey would lead to homelessness.

Plans for a new job and a new house fell through unexpectedly, leaving Bruce and his young son, Brayden, without income or a home. Local shelters didn’t accept single fathers, so they moved into a hotel, but Bruce knew his money wouldn’t last.

When a social worker referred him to Family Promise of North Idaho, Bruce began to see his path more clearly.

He entered Family Promise’s emergency shelter program. With encouragement and support, the father who had never finished high school earned his GED (“Family Promise even shuttled me to math tutoring!” he recalls). He enrolled in trade school and became certified as a traffic flagger so he’d have income while navigating next steps. Eventually, he and his son moved into their own apartment.

Bruce was making progress, but circumstances had left him feeling insecure and unsafe, and life was far from stable. Family Promise saw he wanted to succeed and stood by him. In addition to ongoing case management, they helped Bruce with supplies for trade school, furniture for his apartment, and critical auto repairs, empowering him to keep moving forward.

Photo of Brayden and dog.

College had never been a consideration, but after one semester in trade school Bruce realized it was a desirable—and attainable—goal. He applied to the University of Idaho and graduated with honors. Last spring, he received his master’s degree in education with a 4.0 GPA—“not bad for a ninth-grade dropout!” he jokes. He found temporary employment—and was recently promoted—while he seeks a teaching position.

Brayden, now in fifth grade, has inherited his dad’s passion for knowledge and enjoys in-depth conversations about the things he learns.

“I can’t believe where we were and where we are,” Bruce says. “Being homeless was actually a new beginning. Family Promise made all the difference.”

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