“I’m a people person,” Brandon Bell admits happily with a bright smile on his face and laughter bubbling up right behind. “When I first met Brian, David and Jerry, I felt like we would connect and it would all work out.” Five years later, the four men are a tight unit, sharing meals together, talking late into the night, and supporting each other as housemates.
Back in the early days of the relationship when Brandon started as a live-in direct support professional for Jubilee, he would take notes like a journalist to keep up with the three men’s busy schedules. There were challenges to overcome, like gaining each other’s trust and taking the time to build respect and friendship. The men’s strong connection was evident when Brandon was able to help Jerry resolve medication issues that were impacting his daily life. “I knew something was affecting Jerry’s behavior and mood, but he wasn’t able to share how he felt with the doctor,” said Brandon. Through Brandon’s advocacy with the physician, Jerry’s medications were decreased, which made a tangible improvement in his daily life.
“Support works both ways though,” reflects Brandon as he thinks about their relationship. “I wake up every day and experience genuine love and mutual support. We are truly like a family. We spend time with each other’s families, and they have given me a sense of belonging and acceptance.” Brandon now also has a position on Jubilee’s human resources team as a talent acquisition manager, and he applies the lessons he learned to make matches that last between the people Jubilee supports and new staff. “They chose me. They are my heart, and they are why I’m so passionate about the work I do with Jubilee.”