Participant Profile: Timothy

“Without the checks, it would be a real challenge to get this done. Now I don’t feel so closed in because of this little bit of cushion.” 


Timothy is a resident of the Beverly neighborhood, a veteran, and a dedicated brother and son. Just recently, Timothy’s little brother moved in with him for a few months. 

“My brother needed a little support to help him get back on his feet,” Timothy said. “It didn’t cost me any cash, he just needed me so he could find some stability. He needed me to be there for him.” 

A little bit of support can go a long way for people who find themselves on shaky footing, and Timothy personally knows the power of a helping hand. After spending time overseas in Iraq, Timothy found a path toward healing only after connecting with fellow veterans and building his own support system. Over the years, he and his compatriots have built a nationwide support group to bring fellow survivors of PTSD together. 

This year, Timothy welcomed a new helping hand when he was selected for the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot. Since June, he’s been receiving $500 a month in direct cash payments every month and slowly rebuilding his financial health.  


“That 500 dollars, if you use it the right way, you can have a really good year. So far, I’ve been really pleased with where it’s got me.” 


Timothy’s primary plan for the infusion of cash has been to shore up his finances. He has caught up on rent and paid off some growing utility bills. Today, he’s focused on trimming down the rest of his debt, and he’s making progress.


“It feels great to break even, to catch up. I’m still working on it, I would say I’m more than 60 percent there.” 


And with a little extra support, it gives Timothy a chance to focus on what matters most in his life. With his brother back on his feet, Timothy is now making plans to join his mother and sisters as they head to see their grandmother this Thanksgiving.  

It has been some time since he’s been able to connect with the matriarch of his family, the woman who helped build the foundation for the family bonds that keep everyone together to this day. He expects to spend most of the time in the kitchen with his grandmother cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Afterwards, the family will participate in cancer-walk organized by his uncle. 

“To be able to have a new sense of stability and to be there for my family, that’s priceless. I don’t need anything more than that over the holidays.” 

A little help to get back on your feet. It’s not much to ask for, but it has the ability to change lives and strengthen entire families. Timothy’s heart and compassion is a boon for all of the people in his life. For the veterans in his support groups, he is a leader and a valued voice. For his family, he’s a mentor and a pillar of stability. These roles mean everything to him – and the chance to remove the stress of piling debts has made everyone in his life better off. 

Timothy said as he looked forward to a modest but comfortable end of the year.  


“I don’t need presents this Christmas, I’m just going keep paying off these bills and being with my people. WE are the Christmas present this year.”