Tell Me Something Good:Homeless Shelter Rehabs Old Building to Offer Place of Employment to its Guests
We all wish to help the community we live in, to give what we can to those less fortunate than us and to support local businesses. But let’s face it, there is only so much time in the day. What if there was an easy way to support sustainability in our community—like going out to eat?
What if simply eating at a restaurant directly supported secure jobs for those who are working hard to get off the streets and get back on their feet? What if the restaurant was fully staffed by people in your community who used to be homeless?
The Lighthouse Shelter in Annapolis, Maryland is showing the way, taking a creative approach to getting people off the streets and into a safe and secure place to live and work. Their B.E.S.T program (Building Employment Success Training) pays each member of the program as an intern, while giving them hands-on training in restaurant work and cooking, or building maintenance and landscaping.
It is BEST’s Culinary Arts program that has received the most acclaim. It was developed after the Lighthouse Shelter moved into a new 24,000 square foot facility, and struggled to find a buyer for their old building just a few miles down the road. In line with their vision to create a place of belonging and support the homeless in Maryland’s state capital, the leadership decided to refurbish the old building into a restaurant to be staffed and operated by participants and graduates of their very own BEST program.
The building that will house BEST’s own restaurant is currently under renovation. Upon completion, it will be outfitted and prepared for its grand opening with the help of the Lighthouse Staff and members of the BEST program. It is with this full-circle of support that Lighthouse hopes to create a national model for re-imagining the way we rebuild the lives of the less fortunate. We can only hope that others around the country and around the world will follow in their illuminating footsteps, taking such an innovative approach to providing safe and secure jobs for the homeless.
For more info http://www.annapolislighthouse.org/programs