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With a home and community at Brownstone Manor, Ronald could move forward with his life

Ronald Dixon was homeless and living with family in Terre Haute, and wasn't sure what his options were with his limited income. Thankfully, he found Brownstone Manor, run by Volunteers of America of Indiana, and in December 2015 he moved in.

However, the staff at Brownstone Manor quickly noticed that Ronald had a problem with drinking too much alcohol. Often times he was seen staggering in the hallway and speaking rudely to passersby.

The staff Community Administrator let Ronald know that he needs to stay in his apartment when he is inebriated. She also suggested that he use the resources of the Service Coordinator to assist in discovering ways to better manage the issue.

This conversation sparked something in Ronald, and he displayed an eagerness to work, learn and contribute positively to others. Instead of continuing to drink and stay in his apartment, Ronald discontinued the drinking and spent more and more time out and about participating in activities, events and programs offered at Brownstone Manor.

Ronald also made up his mind to stay busy and began applying for jobs, since he believes that "an idle mind is the devil's workshop." But when he started his job search, he realized that most potential employers expect a person to have at least a basic ability to use computers, a skill he did not have.

Soon after the start of his job search, Ronald saw a sign posted in Brownstone Manor that senior citizens can take classes at Ivy Tech for free. There is a satellite campus not far from Brownstone Manor so Ronald went to learn more about it. He filled out an application and was accepted. He began classes as a full time student in August 2016 and is taking Computers, Math and Business classes. Ronald will be able to use the resident computers here for homework as well as the on-site library for studying.

When asked what motivated him to pursue becoming a student again, he states that it improves self esteem, offers a positive environment, and helps to keep a "can do" attitude. He also feels that there is no way to learn too much.

His overall goal is to use his culinary background along with his new found computer and business skills to work in a large restaurant in the city.