Our executive Director shared a story with me this week that I think is just too wonderful not to share- he was at the KFC in the West End, picking up dinner for his mother in law when a man in line approached him- here is the story in his words:
“A man walked up to me in the midst of the KFC-loving crowd and said, “Vince, right? Gateway Center, right?” I quietly responded- yes…He said, ‘I just want to tell you that I am five years clean and sober, and I got my start at the Gateway Center’
I stood there frozen in time for a moment. Five years and a new life. What a wonderful investment. What a wonderful change. I told him to keep up the good work and come and see us sometime. He flashed a large smile and said he would”
And Vince is no stranger to being recognized- about a month ago something similar happened to him at the OK Café. As he ate lunch, a chef recognized him at the counter and approached with a similar story. This chef had struggled with addiction and homelessness until he found his place at the Gateway Center. The man was so excited to see Vince, he introduced him to the manager. The manager was amazed to find that one of his best employees had been homeless at one point in time, and he thanked Vince and the Gateway Center for helping the man get on his feet.
Makes you want to go out to eat more often, no?!
It is amazing to know that the people we serve at the Gateway Center are part of our community now in such a different way than they were five years ago, three months ago, or however long ago they experienced homelessness. We are all so thankful to share in the successes of the people who come through our doors, and it is pretty neat to know that as you stand in line for dinner, you may be sharing space with a Gateway grad!