Brett, an On My Own of Michigan member since 2010, likes to keep his apartment neat and tidy, something he’ll need to stay especially focused on now that there’s a new member of his family who will be visiting—his niece, Haley, who was born in March of 2018. Brett can tell you the hour and minute his niece was born—4:51 a.m.  Such detailed information is the result of days of “baby watch,” by him and the OMO staff.

Cleaning, doing laundry, paying bills and otherwise staying on top of life’s daily chores is a source of pride and satisfaction for Brett.

“It feels good when I’m done cleaning,” he said. “Plus, I like the free time afterwards, when I can hang out with my friends and my roommate, Joe.”

Brett also gets a lot of satisfaction out of cooking, especially for his girlfriend. One of their favorite dishes, in addition to sloppy joes and pasta, is salmon, coated with butter and lemon and baked in the oven until it’s done just right.

When he tries out a new recipe, Brett knows he has backup from the OMO staff, who have already helped him master some of the details of mixing and baking.

A typical day for Brett includes his work as a member of the staff at the Troy Community Center, where he cleans and helps set up chairs and tables for special events.

The summer gets extra busy for Brett, who’s a catcher on the OMO softball team. Weekends are for friends and visits with family members, including that new niece.

Brett is clear on what “independence” means to him. It means doing things, even daily routine things, on his own, whether cooking, cleaning or throwing a softball.

Brett has had some challenges in his years with OMO. For example, there was the day he moved away from home and into his own apartment at OMO.

“I was nervous that day, but excited,” Brett said. “Now I’ve been in my apartment for four years.  I have lots of friends and the On My Own staff is there to help me.  All this is part of my life now. I do stuff myself, like laundry and cleaning. I make my own budget and I pay my bills.  I take care of myself.”

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Profile written by Dan Koger, as part of the Harry Lebovitz Fund.