Who Rescued Who?

Brandon first came to COTS in 2017, but the challenges in his life kept him from permanent housing. Then in 2023, when he was living at a camp in Cloverdale, COTS Outreach staff shared with him about an opportunity to live at People’s Village.

So, he decided to give it a try.  Since animals are allowed at People’s Village, he knew he could work on finding housing, his recovery and rescue a puppy living at the encampment. Brandon knew he wanted to save one of the pups, but it turns out, she saved him too.

Brandon came to COTS using opiates but knew he couldn’t care for a dog in his current state.  He detoxed and gained his sobriety. Then went back to save Izzy, a special pup with two spots on her back shaped like hearts.  She was just three weeks old. Brandon bottle-fed her and cared for her around the clock.  She kept him busy and focused, two things needed to keep him sober.

“[She’s] kept me from going back out and doing stuff I shouldn’t be doing. It’s definitely helped me through those moments when you don’t really know who to talk to you, but these dogs are there. You know, there’s no judgment that comes from her either. That’s the greatest part.”

Brandon worked with his Care Manager, Stacie Questioni, on his individual action plan and Client Enrichment Services Manager, Eileen Morris helped Brandon, an army veteran, secure a housing voucher through Veteran’s Affairs.  “Eileen has been a huge help. The biggest help when it comes to housing… She’s a rock star.”

Today, Brandon is continuing his search for housing and working hard at taking care of Izzy.  He’s an excellent dog parent, keeping an active five month old puppy busy and well-trained.

Brandon’s ready for the stability of permanent housing, a home for him and Izzy. “My hope is to just keep it [housing], I’m done with being back on the streets.”   We are so proud of the work Brandon is doing to find housing and can’t wait for the day when he has a home to call his own.

Thank you for your support of innovative programs like People’s Village and our Client Enrichment Program that create opportunities for clients like Brandon.  We are so grateful of your support of our vision to create a community where everyone has a place to call home.

STORY UPDATE: November 2023

This month, Brandon and Izzy have moved out of COTS People’s Village housing and into Windsor Veteran’s Village, a supportive, veteran-focused housing community. We are so proud of all your hard work, Brandon!


A shout out to Stacie Questoni, Nora Vetter, Randy Clay, and all of our teammembers at COTS who worked together with Brandon to see him through to housing of his own!


Pictured below is Brandon (left) and Stacie Questoni,  COTS’ People’s Village Services Manager, (right) in front of Brandon’s new residence.