Stephanie's Heroes: Shawn Bradley

Dec. 2, 2013

A Charlottesville veteran is turning his life around after being an alcoholic, homeless and dealing with medical issues. People who know Shawn Bradley say he’s their role model for inspiring other to do the same.

Bradley is a resident at The Crossings in Charlottesville. It’s an apartment complex for low income and homeless people run by Virginia Supportive Housing.

He came to The Crossings after being down on his luck and living on the streets.

“I was having really bad health issues and The Crossings basically gave me a place to go and regain my health and my mental status and social status and overall being."

In a short time, Bradley got his life back on track and now is helping others do the same.

“Everyone that's on the street, they don't choose to be on the street. Anything that I can give… encouragement… even if it's a blanket for somebody that doesn't make the homeless shelter at night. I just try to look out for the homeless and guide them in the right direction,” said Bradley.

In addition to encouraging people out on the streets, volunteering at PACEM and mentoring residents at The Crossings, he’s also a motivational speaker and was even recognized at a ceremony in November.

“It's amazing and it's inspiring not only to the folks that are here, but also to the folks that are working with the residents,” said Anne Deery, Resource Development Coordinator, The Crossings.

“It’s an honor to me to help out the people that are still on the streets because I've been there and I know what they're going through,” said Bradley.

While Shawn doesn’t think of himself as a hero for what’s he’s accomplished and how he’s giving back, many others definitely call him a role model.

“He's been a role model here in the building and I think some of the resident success has been from his example,” said Deery.

He’s showing people that there is life after homelessness. You just have to be willing to make some changes and work hard.

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