Before finding South Oakland Shelter (SOS), Chris was sleeping at bus stops and wondering what life had to offer.
Chris was living independently and working when a terrible car accident forced him to take a leave from work. Trying to be responsible, Chris paid his rent for the rest of the year to his landlord, who ran off with the money and caused him to become evicted. Chris worked a succession of odd jobs but it wasn’t enough to make ends meet, and he ended up staying with friends and eventually on the street. Chris entered SOS hoping to find the help and support he needed to find housing. As a current shelter client, he is working every day to better his situation and end his homelessness for good. How he’s planning to do it? By using his love of cooking to get into culinary school.
“Living [in the shelter], people complain about the food and not liking what’s served. I’m cooking tonight so everyone can eat and enjoy it,” Chris shared, as he set about preparing a meal for the other shelter clients. “Tonight, I’m cooking for my family.”
SOS was facing an open week where we had no host congregation. Often, we rely on volunteers to keep our shelter running during these weeks. Chris offered to help make dinner for the other clients on a night where no one signed up to cook. He prepared a meal of oven-fried chicken, roasted potatoes and vegetables , and at the end of the meal there was nothing left. Chris shared that cooking was his passion and has been since he was a teenager, and that he sees culinary school as a way to improve his situation and find his purpose.
“Culinary school would mean the world to me…it would mean my life would be about to drastically change.”
To learn more about Chris’s story and to help him reach his goal, visit his HandUp page here.