Coworker Corner: Phillip Brown
If there’s anybody whose spirit and personality embodies what Mercy Home is, it’s Phillip Brown.
Brown, a South Carolina native and military veteran, has always wanted to help people.
He joined the U.S. Navy straight out of high school and was stationed on the USS Eisenhower following boot camp in Florida.
Boot camp was amazing,” Brown said. “I learned a lot of discipline, timeliness, getting things done, following directives, marching, of course, and physical fitness.
Prior to joining the Navy, Brown had never been a passenger on a commercial aircraft. Before long, he found himself aboard a cargo plane with no seats and landing on a ship in the middle of the ocean.
Brown worked in the Navy’s interior communication department, fixing anything dealing with technology such as TVs and VCRs. Upon discharge, Brown knew he didn’t want to move back to South Carolina. So he followed his brother to Chicago and worked at a police station as a record supervisor.
He later worked in restaurants and became interested in catering, but he quickly realized that wasn’t his calling. While working at a downtown lunch restaurant, a customer walked in and said that he liked his customer service. He asked if he’d be interested in case management and Brown soon started working for Sinai Community Institute as a case manager.
“It was great,” Brown said. “I found my calling once I started doing that. I was there for five years and then they put me in the youth department and that’s where I [got really interested] and it was all about the kids and I loved it. It was a great experience.”
After Brown’s mother became ill, he moved back to South Carolina to be with her until her passing in 2014. When he returned to Chicago, he submitted an application for Mercy Home, along with other organizations.
He received an offer from Mercy Home, but he already accepted a full-time job at elsewhere. But Brown was so interested in Mercy Home that he asked about taking on a part-time job and was offered a support staff position. Eventually, he accepted a position in our Community Care department.
Today, Brown works with former Mercy Home youth on their employment goals, education goals, and any type of need that they have.
“It was always supposed to be my great part-time job,” Brown said. “Now, it turned into my great full-time retirement job. It’s always been the people, I’ve always had great supervisors, great directors. It’s always been a great experience being here. I love talking to the guys. It’s a great atmosphere.”