Meet the Maker – Brian Mitchell
Without question, Project HOME is a transformative place. But, for one Project HOME resident, the transformation has been more visible than most. Since moving in to supportive housing in April of 2014, resident Bryan Mitchell has managed to lose 50 pounds and quit smoking. Mitchell, a 50-year-old native of Sharon Hill, describes his time at Project HOME as “therapeutic.” Mitchell started out his workout routine small, building up his endurance by working out 15 minutes at a time.
Today he says he “feels great.” His physician has dialed back his diabetes medication and as Mitchell noted, “the extra endorphins” help ease his struggle with his bipolar depression, a condition that went undiagnosed prior to his arrival at Project HOME.
In addition to his workout routine, Mitchell also works in Project HOME’s social enterprise and art programs. Each Monday, along with nine other residents, Mitchell participates in a technical drawing fundamentals course. The course, offered to Project HOME residents at Philadelphia’s prestigious Studio Incamminati, is a joint venture that allows residents to earn income and practice pre-employment skills like taking intellectual risk, following through on challenging tasks, and making and keeping time commitments.
Mitchell also works making homemade soaps and candles for Project HOME’s HOME Made Gifts. These days he also trains residents who are new to soap and candle making, noting that he “likes to help people” and would like to one day volunteer in more leadership roles at Project HOME.
Mitchell admitted that sometimes it’s “hard to accept where you are in life” but emphasized the importance of gratitude and patience. Bryan, who no longer has high blood pressure and can now bike for up to two hours at time, says Project HOME has done “great things, positive things for me.”
For you to follow in Bryan’s footsteps to take care of yourself and the ones you love, purchase a spa-themed gift basket of hand crafted HOME Made gift items made by Project HOME residents.