Removing Barriers to Success


After several unsuccessful placements, Brandon finally found a home at Mosaic – and the supports to help him realize his goals.

“Other places didn’t do anything for me,” he said.

This September, Brandon, who is supported by Mosaic in Western Iowa, had the opportunity to share his story with a national gathering of Mosaic volunteers. 

He discussed his past, present and future and shared with the group how Mosaic has helped him put serious distance between his past anger issues and present career aspirations.

“I felt honored to tell my story,” Brandon said. “In the past, I used to have bad anger issues. I’ve been working on this for years.”

Today, Brandon describes himself as, “Easy going; I like to have fun. I like to work when I can. I’m a helpful guy.” 

Brandon, who is diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome, receives support in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where Mosaic serves people with mental health issues. He receives 24-hour residential support and staff work with him on coping skills, medication management, daily living skills and budgeting.

“We used to do workbooks and talk through my anger issues,” Brandon said. “Now, if I get mad or have an issue with my peers, I tell Mosaic staff and they give me advice.” 

Without this support, Brandon, 25, said he would not be pursuing his goals.

“I’ve been with Mosaic for almost five years now,” he said. “Mosaic is better than other places I’ve been because the staff helps me with my goals.”

Brandon now has the confidence to get involved in the community, and he currently volunteers three days a week at the Open Door Mission.

“I’ve worked at the Open Door Mission for almost two years,” Brandon said. “That’s a long time! I work in the donation receiving area. I sort and hang clothes. I enjoy being there, and I have too many friends there to name.”

While Brandon enjoys volunteering, he would really like a paying job, and he is working with Mosaic staff to achieve this goal. 

“I want to get a paying job at the Open Door Mission,” he said. “I feel I deserve a chance to work as a paid employee. I might also try to do some janitorial work at a school or be a cart pusher at Wal-Mart.”

Brandon said he is working with job coaches to fill out applications and prepare for interviews.

“A paying job would mean I’d be able to take care of my girlfriend and buy presents for my family on Christmas and birthdays,” he said.

Beyond employment, Brandon also hopes to further his education.

“In the future, I hope to go back to school,” said the high school graduate. “I want to study mechanics and auto body work. I’d also like to work on airplanes. I’m going to try to apply for the program in the next year.”

Today marks the 25th anniversary of World Mental Health Day, a global initiative to advance awareness and promote proper treatment for mental health issues. The initiative hits close to home for Mosaic, as 81 percent of the people we support have a mental health diagnosis in addition to an intellectual or developmental disability.

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