LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On a warm August morning in Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood, Brad Palmer said there was no place else he would be rather be than building what will be the first home he’s ever owned.
It’s something he couldn’t imagine when he was decades into an alcohol addiction, he said.
“All I did was chase a bottle,” said Palmer. “I would get up, get a bottle, then I’d walk back home, and then I’d figure out a way to get money to get another bottle. And that’s all I did throughout the day, every single day, for I don’t know. “
Palmer got into recovery four years ago and eventually moved into Beacon House, a long-term residential facility.
Now, he’s a resident manager there, caring for 40 men.
“I have other people throughout recovery that depend on me as well,” said Palmer. “I have guys that I sponsor. You know, they depend on me. And yeah … it absolutely is what probably keeps me sober.”
Some of those men are helping to build his home along with other volunteers, through Habitat for Humanity’s homebuyer services program.
Palmer’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor Marcus Biggs got his own home through the program. He said he’s proud of Palmer.
“Brad does a lot, and that’s why he’s getting a lot, because he puts a lot of work into it,” Biggs said. “When he’s given a suggestion, he takes it, even if he doesn’t want to. And he does a lot of things in quiet that a lot of people don’t know.”
Written on the studs throughout the house are messages of support for Palmer, like “for this house will be a house of love” and “God bless this house and Brad.”
“Once we put the drywall up, it will cover these up, but it’s cool to know that they’re there,” said Palmer.
Palmer recently graduated from Liberty University with a degree in interdisciplinary studies and has applied for a temporary drug and alcohol counseling license, he said.
“I just stuck and stayed and built a solid foundation, which I think I’m doing here today,” said Palmer.