Phillip: The Learner

Phillip and his family lived in extreme poverty in downstate New York. Phillip struggled in the early years of his education due to having intellectual and developmental disabilities. When Phillip was 11, his father passed away and his mother moved the family to Kingston, where she was able to find work as a housekeeper. However, the income she received was not nearly enough to make ends meet. When the financial burden proved to be too much for just a single parent, Phillip dropped out of school at 18 to find work in an effort to support his younger brothers and to provide for his family.

Phillip found employment at Johnson Ford, where he worked for many years in the maintenance department. It was during this time that he met and married the love of his life. Due to the downturn in the economy, Phillip was laid off from Ford however, he was able to find many odd jobs keeping him and his wife housed.

When Phillip’s wife passed away, he came to Schenectady to live with his Aunt and Uncle. However, after much emotional and mental abuse, Phillip found himself not only jobless, but homeless as well.
In 2012, after suffering from chronic homelessness Bethesda House welcomed Phillip into their permanent supportive housing program. While working with our staff, Phillip shared his desire to obtain his GED before he passes away. Phillip understands that the lack of basic literacy skills ultimately makes him ineligible for even entry level positions. Phillip had, and still has, a deep desire to not only gain full-time employment, but to also become an independent adult.

Now at age 67, the literacy skills Phillip lacks directly correlate to his inability to take the appropriate test successfully. Though Bethesda House staff has found tutors and volunteers to work with Phillip to achieve this goal, more can be done. With your support we can make sure Phillip, and others like him, achieve this goal.