James’s Success Story


James has spent the last years of his 40’s in and out of homelessness.  Medical treatments brought him to Gillette and costs quickly became more than he could afford.  He found himself moving to worse and worse living conditions just to keep a roof over his head.

Finally finding himself living in unsafe conditions, James sought help at the Homeless Shelter.  His first stay was in the spring just as high schools and colleges in the area were celebrating graduation.  James was feeling down on his luck.  He saw the success of those graduates and set his sights on higher education.

While staying at the Homeless Shelter James began asking questions and seeking help from Gillette College.  After making numerous trips, on foot, across town to the college James was making progress.  He’d learned about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and painstakingly made his way through the application process.   

Once his application had been processed, James learned he qualified for a Federal Pell Grant.  This was the news he needed!  Unlike student loans, Federal Pell Grants are not expected to be repaid. James would have the financial support he needed to get the education he wanted.

James was overjoyed at the thought of being able to pursue technical training, but he was growing more and more concerned about getting from the Homeless Shelter to Gillette College every day.  Making the trip on foot was become tiresome and James was looking for a bike but didn’t have the resources to purchase one.  James had even asked staff at the Council of Community Services, but all avenues were coming up empty.

While in a local business, James was sharing his desire for a bike with a fellow patron when the owner overheard his dilemma.  Later that evening, in an incredible display of compassion, the business owner brought a bike to the Homeless Shelter for James. 

From the beginning James didn’t want to be in the Homeless Shelter.  He set his mind to finding a way out and it seems he is well on his way!     

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