This week, Catholic Community Services launched the St. Vincent’s Kitchen Academy - a new program that provides individuals who are homeless and unemployed culinary training. After completing the course, staff will help place them into jobs. They will also receive assistance with housing, transportation and clothing.
The class provides to these clients what Chef Trainer Alex DeAngelo said we often take for granted.
“And so they get a house, they get a job, it completely changes their whole life, and gets them back to what we would consider day to day normal,” DeAngelo said. “And that they've been going without some of them, honestly, for years.”
The Kitchen Academy is about setting up people for success in all aspects of their lives.
“If we bring them in, and then we put them back out on the street with the same set of skills we brought them in with, how are they going to change their lives? They can't,” DeAngelo said.
The course is 12-weeks long and not only prepares individuals to work in a restaurant, but also provides life skills training. Building a good resume, obtaining necessary ID’s, and learning how to deal with difficult work situations are all included in the course.
But DeAngelo said this isn’t just a 12-week course. It’s an opportunity to start over and receive help for a year after completing the program.
“They're not going to be that way they're done with school. But now they have a year of somebody standing there going, Hey, how can I help,” DeAngelo said. “I think that's a huge difference.”