Michael was born and raised on the East Coast.
His credentials are impressive, the kind that produce a six figure income. Michael graduated from Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and received bachelor’s degree in Hospitality from Morris Brown College in Atlanta as well as a master’s degree in Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
Michael put his knowledge and skills to work in a successful, 15-year career as a Chef.
Burned out on cooking, Michael moved to Alaska to pursue an opportunity in the seafood industry. The company was sold after eight years, and his hours were cut.
Michael decided to make a change. He moved to Arizona to start over. Without an income, he soon ran out of money and became homeless. Michael lived on the street for six months. He was failing to take personal responsibility for the basic essentials he needed for life. Michael’s self-worth diminished by the day.
He met friends who showed him the ropes. Michael heard about Paz de Cristo where he found food, clothing, showers, nurse care and more.
In early November, Michael picked up a flyer at Paz about a temporary warehouse job.
Michael walked six miles to the interview. It was worth every step. He passed the drug test and was hired on the spot.
Paz de Cristo provided him with several pairs of jeans, shirts and a pair of work boots. Michael was set.
Then it rained.
Michael got caught in the storm. He arrived at work wet and disheveled from sleeping outside in a downpour. Michael’s employer told him he couldn’t come to work until he found permanent housing so that he would be properly dressed and groomed for his job.
Paz de Cristo and the local St. Vincent de Paul worked in tandem to get a deposit that secured an apartment for him. They convinced the landlord that Michael was a good risk.
Michael was hired back right away, and he stayed on the job until the short-term project was finished. He continued working with the same recruiter who referred him to an opening in another warehouse. Michael landed that job in a heartbeat. He soon received a promotion to shift supervisor and even earned a raise.
Michael shared that the encouragement he received from Paz de Cristo was the motivation he needed to overcome the depression and anxiety he was facing. “Sometimes you just need someone to believe in you, to tell you that you can do it and to give you a hand,” Michael said.
There are hundreds of neighbors in need just like Michael. Will you give a helping hand? Your gift is a lifeline providing the resources those in need will use to turn their lives around.