3381 N. Mason St., Appleton

In May 2009, Brandon Cacek, a proud U.S. Marine and Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, did not know where to turn. His wife, Laurie’s health had taken a turn for the worse. He was juggling a job and caring for their two young children while Laurie worked to regain her strength – all while trying to make ends meet for his family. “Then I lost my job, and everything started to crumble,” Brandon recalled. “We couldn’t pay our rent and we were facing eviction. Every day was a struggle for us.”

At the suggestion of a friend, Brandon stopped by the Appleton Housing Authority (AHA) to see if the agency could do anything to help and learned that he and his family met the qualifications for the HUD-VASH Voucher Program managed by the AHA.

Since moving into their School Youth Build home in 2014, the family is flourishing.  “Having this wonderful home that we can afford has made all the difference to us. We’ve been able to look to the future,” Brandon said.

That future is bright, as Laurie’s heath concerns have become more manageable and both of the Cacek’s children are in school full-time.  Brandon also finished his education since moving the family moved into the home, earning a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Quality. This has opened the door to a higher paying job to more fully support his family.

“This program truly saved us and we can’t thank the AHA enough,” Brandon said. “Through all of this, we were never judged when we needed to seek help. I never felt like ‘less of a person.’ It’s a godsend that an organization like this is in our community. We are so blessed.”

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