Dalton liked to cook. That’s why he was so excited to hear about culinary training programs that could help him get back on his feet.
After leaving incarceration three years ago, Dalton struggled with homelessness and finding a job. He tried everything but kept running into a wall. What kept him going, however, was six words:
“Change I must, or die I will.”
“I just had to hold it together,” he said. “Lots of prayer.”
Dalton had heard about two programs he could try: one at Central Union Mission and the other at Thrive DC. He didn’t know which one he wanted to do, but he decided that he would choose based on how the food was at each place.
He went to Central Union Mission and thought their food was OK. But when he came to Thrive DC he thought: “Wow. They were working hard.”
Dalton was blown away by how full Thrive DC was all the time and how much people kept coming back for the food. He knew he wanted to go where people took pride in the work they were doing.
“I haven’t had people like Chef Terrence in my life. I made a good, conscious decision to pursue my career here and I’m so thankful of that.”
Thrive DC’s Real Opportunity Training Program is six months long and hard work, but Dalton was glad to be working. It helped keep him busy, helped him not to focus on his past incarceration or not having a home of his own to go back to.
“I ended up here as a result of committing to change. I really wanted to learn what these people had to offer, and I think I accomplished that.”
After six months, Dalton finally graduated. He took with him a great reference from his externship at Amsterdam Falafel, and is currently looking forward to passing his SafeServ certification and getting his Culinary Arts degree from Stratford University.
“I’m not quite finished yet. This is my new start!”
Want more information on Thrive DC's Real Opportunity Training Program? Click the link to learn more about our comprehensive program supporting people out of homelessness.