Family is Everything
By J. Isaac Noel Benjamin, II
Courtesy Photo-Andrew Brewer President and founder of Men Making a Difference Inc., (MMAD) of Lansing MI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Saying this is a tale of rags to riches would not be correct. Noting that life has many twists and turns would be a statement of fact. Andrew D. Brewer has triumphed over life’s adversity and come out on top. Brewer is the proud owner of his own business, Peace of Mind Homecare and a successful nonprofit, Men Making a Difference, Inc. “I am extremely proud of the company I was able to start,” said Brewer. “My employees are called “Team Members.” The concept of family and the ideals surrounding taking care of family is a guiding principle in his mission statement. Brewer has a five-year expansion plan. His plans include creating group homes that will create housing for veteran and independent living spaces for seniors. “My plan is to start this in the Lansing area,” he said, “then we will see where it grows from there.”
Brewer, a Lansing native, found himself in dire straight early in life after losing his father at age 13. The allure of the streets and drugs quickly became his focus. It would be easy to conclude that going to prison would be the end of the story. However, this is where our story begins. Brewer not only got his GED but, he followed through and got a bachelor’s degree too. The joy of reading and knowledge became his focus. “If I could pass one thing on to young men and women,” said Brewer, “it would be to never, ever, let go of your dreams.”
Brewer’s favorite book is the autobiography of Malcolm X. The book helped shape and influence his life. It represented the motivation and change he needed. Brewer is the oldest of four children born to the late Andrew Brewer Sr and Corean Gray. The role of father has a special meaning. “I cherish my role as a father to his son Andrew Brewer Ill and his daughter Candace Ross. Candice is married with two children.
Brewer dreamed of one day owning his own business. “It took me 10-years to save enough money to start my own business,” he stated. Brewer got the idea for home health care from working as a nurse’s aide. “It was the only thing I knew how to do,” he said. He was a caretaker for 25 years. Brewer has owned Peace of Mind Homecare for about 1 ½ years. “It will be two year in February 2020,” he said. He is also, President and founder of Men Making a Difference Inc., (MMAD) of Lansing MI, a 501c 3 nonprofit. Its mission is to increase family activities, encourage positive fatherhood and volunteerism in the community.
Brewer also enjoys being an active participant by helping young men in the Lansing community, as a facilitator for the President Obama initiative “My Lansing Brother's Keeper.” The initiative helps bring awareness to the issues of young men of color and exposes them to the light that shines in their communities.
Brewer is also a dedicated member of two mentoring groups, Young Men's Academy and a co-founder of 100 Men in Suits. Brewer feels that he has benefited greatly from community support. So, he has a strong desire to give it back.
His commitment to community was noted in 2013 by City Council member A'Lynne Boles Dukes and in 2014 MMAD was honored by The Lansing Branch of NAACP for their community service and he was honored with the Lansing Champion Community Spirit award 2018.
Brewer is a graduate of Lansing Sexton High School. He earned a general associate degree from Lansing Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from Davenport University. “I love my community.” Brewer said. “Out of all the community events, I am most passionate about The Family Community Cookout Fest. The festival was founded in 2007 by Brewer and 10 other men, Bobby Bradford, Homichal Brewer, Cliff Harris, Cliff Brown, Henry Hunt, Tyrone Rhodes Andre Brewer, Dilan Greer, Paul Tyler and Dwayne Garner. “We had 20 people show up to Hawk Island Park for the festival that first year,” smiled Brewer. “Last year, we had 1,800 attend!” The festival, held on the third Saturday in July, has been held at Benjamin Davis Park for the last 5-years.