Friendship House changes lives. I know this from personal experience.
My story is probably pretty typical for a lot of people. I was raised in a bad environment with abuse and a lot of sadness. When I left home at an early age, I was totally unprepared for the world I was entering.
Many years passed. Two marriages dissolved. Mom died the year after Dad did. I moved from Skagit County to Portland, Oregon, to be with “the love of my life.” When he left me a year later, I was devastated. I went back to bartending and heavy drinking. My drug issues resurfaced while in Portland.
I ended up homeless. I lived under bridges and on the streets of Portland, doing drugs for two years before moving back to Skagit County. When I arrived in Mount Vernon, I was told that Friendship House was a good place to stay, so I went there to find shelter. What I found was a lot more than shelter. I found help and a home. I found love and acceptance. I found myself and salvation.
Friendship House helped me recover so that I could heal. I found a job with Skagit Publishing, and Friendship House made sure that I had clothing appropriate for work and food for lunch. I moved up in the company and eventually became the Circulation Manager. I am more successful than I have ever been in my life and I owe that to Friendship House and Skagit Publishing.
Friendship House saved my life seven years ago. I am immensely grateful for its existence.
Hunger to Hope launched last week, and we are so happy to have Jade, Fancy, Chris, Gabe and Brenda on board! We kicked off the brand new worker training program by getting Food Handler’s Permits. Our participants are officially ready to go!Hunger to Hope is a 12 week program. Participants will spend most of the week in the kitchen, prepping, cooking and serving meals in the Friendship House Café. They’ll be learning various techniques and cooking skills from our Kitchen Manager, Tom Hoffman, who brings nearly 25 years of experience in the food service industry.
Once a week, the group will meet with Blake Westhoff, our Program Coordinator, to take Life Skills and job prep classes. They’ll learn important work ready skills like responsibility, prompt attendance, and effective communication. They’ll also gain interview and resume writing skills to assist in their job search.
At the end of the program, our participants should be prepared to succeed in the food service industry. Our overall goal is to provide homeless men and women with the self-esteem, employable skills, and supportive resources necessary to enter the job market and to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
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