Leedell is focused on his future. He has dreams and aspirations to be a singer again.
Twenty years ago, Leedell sang in local choruses and clubs. In the 1990’s, Leedell had a record deal but when the company went out of business, he found himself on the streets.
In 2000, he decided to move back to Champaign, Ill., where his family lives. But as things worsened, he decided that the move had been a mistake.
When he returned to Chicago, Leedell thought he could count on his friends. But they weren’t there for him and Leedell was homeless. After spending time in different shelters and temporary housing programs, Leedell finally came to Bonaventure House in 2004.
“Bonaventure House was like stepping into heaven, because I had nothing,” he says.
His experience as overwhelmingly positive. Needing help, Leedell was willing to accept the rules of the house. He believes that is what made him a successful graduate of our program.
During his time at Bonaventure House, Leedell gained a sense of direction.
“I felt like I was out of it and disappointed with my life and going through the shelter system was difficult,” he recalls.
People at Bonaventure House really helped him because he felt lost. For example, Father Ted assisted Leedell in finding his spirituality and reconnecting with God. Leedell developed new skills with the help of his case manager. He decided not to go back to work in retail but gained additional experience and eventually started working at the front desk as a resident at Bonaventure House and continued in that position after graduating from our program in August 2006.
Now, Leedell is the night supervisor at Bonaventure House. He loves his job because he is still connected to the community. Leedell finds the residents inspirational and likes talking and laughing with them.
“I love it when residents come down and talk to me at night," he says.
At Bonaventure House, he made new friends and loves connecting with residents.
“I hope that I can inspire current residents for that day when they leave here," Leedell says. "That they can do it.”
Leedell has stayed focused in spite of adversity and he didn’t lost sight of what he needs to do to succeed in the future.
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