Nov 14, 2010 10:31 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Career in food gets men off the streets

In 2005, Randolph Schliesser had no job.

"Basically, I had no purpose in life," remembers Schliesser.

He was drinking heavily and was suicidal, but he found his way to the Springs Rescue Mission kitchen. He's now on the path to earn a Culinary Arts degree.

Walter Lofton is the food service manager chef for Springs Rescue Mission. He says this program gets men off the streets and onto a career in food.

"My mission is, make them cook well. And be proud of their dish and be proud of what they put out," explains Lofton.

Those who go through the Culinary Arts program first receive six months of basic kitchen skills. After two years, they earn a Culinary Arts degree and a sous chef certificate.

"To me, it's the most challenging and rewarding thing that anybody can do, especially if they love cooking," remarks Lofton.

Twenty-five men have graduated from the program and have culinary jobs all over the country.
Schliesser says he'd like to go into restaurant management and continue his cooking career at Springs Rescue Mission where he can give back to a place that gave him purpose in life.

"It has changed my life 110 percent for the better," says Schliesser.




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