GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) “One day we need to be the bridge, be the hand for somebody the next day we need someone else to offer the hand and be our bridge.”

For Michael Bernard, a home on Old Grove Road is his bridge. A way to offer his hand and in turn, facilitate a companionship. 

“It’s an opportunity for them to find safety and comfort amongst people of similar backgrounds,” said Bernard.

The Brandon House of Greenville is a place for veterans recovering from addiction to transition back into the community. Bernard said he formed the home for many reasons. It’s an honor to his son, who passed away from addiction. It’s also a way to give back to those recovering from addiction, something he’s also familiar with himself.

“I know how hard it is to get through something like that and I think with an opportunity here I can have an influence on somebody’s lives so that their brother, sister, mother, father whoever, doesn’t feel those pains,” said Bernard.

As a veteran who’s in recovery from an addiction, he said he understands the challenges of transition from combat to civilian life. Which is why the house doesn’t look like your typical transition house, but instead, your own home.

“Here we have many things available to keep our minds focused on our recovery and take us out of our own heads because sometimes that’s a scary place to be,” said Bernard. “We have a large area outside and we have flowing creeks. We have a fitness center in our house.”

All of this has allowed for residents to bond, something Bernard said is crucial when recovering from addiction. A sense of community is what he hopes they feel at the Brandon house.

“The greatest gift we can give is helping another person and I think some of the most needy people are those that are struggling in life and haven’t figured out how to escape a past that’s been haunting them and this is a solution.”

The Brandon House is looking for volunteers so whether you would like to join as a veteran in recovery, or you would like to volunteer, you can do both here.