Feed the Hungry, Change a Life
July 8, 2015
As I stood in the SOME food pantry, preparing for another day of feeding the hungry and homeless, I looked up and noticed a man I hadn’t seen before. He looked confused, but accepted the produce I offered.
He came back the next day, and the next, and the next, and he began to open up and told me his story. He had been diagnosed with PTSD. His family had abandoned him and he was alone.
I guided him around the corner to SOME’s Isaiah House, SOME’s day program for people who are experiencing homelessness and mental health issues. After three weeks at Isaiah House, he moved into a shelter and was able to secure a night job at a local restaurant.
Two weeks passed with no sign of him. Then, on the third week, he came to the food pantry with a gleam in his eye. He had been accepted into a job training program! He said that he would still work nights at the restaurant and go to classes during the day, and that is exactly what he did.
He received food and words of encouragement from the food pantry staff, the tools to navigate his PTSD at Isaiah House, but most important, he got in touch with his own inner-worth. He now had the confidence to achieve his goals.
A few months ago he returned to the food pantry to let me know that he had graduated at the top of his class and made the Dean’s List. He had saved up enough money to rent his own room.
And he was no longer working at the restaurant. Why would he? He now has a full-time job and is waiting to hear back from various colleges about their registered nursing programs.
This is a man who had absolutely nothing when he first came to SOME. His courage and perseverance is a testament not only to his own abilities but serves as a reminder that with commitment and strength, anything is possible.