From A Life of Homelessness and Addiction to Full Time Employment and Stable Housing
Jeremy Tyler, Telamon staff member, shares the inspirational story of Tyrone.
“Homeless, sleeping in a cardboard box behind Goodwill, I wasn’t able to trust anyone because I didn’t trust myself. I had turned into my own worst enemy and felt like there was no way out. Drinking every day, just not doing anything to contribute to my life or society.”
Meet Tyrone, one of the most amazing men I have ever met in my life.
Tyrone had been homeless for three years. He slept anywhere, in boxes in the winter because the insulation of the boxes kept him warm. He did any kind of odd job to get money to support his habit. He was a 53-year-old addict and alcoholic with no direction in life. His health was slowly declining, along with the dreams he once had.
I will never forget the day that I met Tyrone. Tyrone told me that he had always wanted to cook and that he had dreamed of being a chef, but due to life’s difficulties throughout the years, his dreams were destroyed. I asked him some questions pertaining to the FAST Program, and I could tell that he lacked confidence. He was so beaten down. I asked him if he would show up every day, be on time and try his absolute best – and he said yes. Tyrone was given our last scholarship spot in the class. When he was told that he was accepted into the program, I saw his face express something. I wasn’t sure if it was shock, excitement, or surprise… but it was a spark of something.
The FAST Program is a 16-week, two-phase intensive hands-on culinary training through our Workforce & Career Servicesprogram. It is not an easy program. It is very challenging.
As phase one progressed, Tyrone started to open up a little bit. The intelligence of this gentleman began to shine through. He was always the first to volunteer and he never missed a day of class. It was clear that he wanted what we had to offer. As we were studying for the ServSafe® Manager Exam, Tyrone excelled. We kept on pushing him to do his best. I think he had been pushed down for so long that he forgot what it was like to have people actually in his corner rooting for him, pushing him to do something great.
Within one month in the FAST program, Tyrone received the keys to his own apartment. This man had gone from a cardboard box to an apartment of his very own in about one month due to his incredible dedication, hard work, and desire to turn his life around. He changed his life by taking that first step, choosing to be a part of Telamon’s program. He continued with FAST and graduated in March of 2018 at the top of his class. He passed his ServSafe® Manager exam and accepted a full-time job at a local Chipotle restaurant, and aspires to get into their manager training program.
By way of follow up, I talk to Tyrone at least twice a week. He thanks me all the time for helping him, but it is me that should be thanking him. We all have customers that touch us and remind us why we do what we do. Tyrone is a success and his story is far from over.
Are you passionate about making a difference? Our team is committed to empowering individuals and improving communities. We do it every day, one client at a time, with the help of passionate people who serve as models, coaches and leaders as they assist customers to achieve their goals.
Whether we are preparing a child for school, training a farmworker for a new career path, teaching someone to access community resources or providing financial education to buy or keep a home, what we do makes a difference to those we serve. Learn more about opportunities to join the Telamon team.