By Karen Morfitt
BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A group in Boulder is helping those with a checkered past find hope for the future. The Community Table Kitchen not only offers a meal to those in need, but those in the kitchen get jobs, a home and the tools needed to get their own lives back on track.
For Jose Rodriguez the kitchen is giving him a fresh start from his time in prison.
“I was dreading coming out. They wanted to parole me homeless back to Pueblo, and I was dreading it. I was giving myself about a month,” he said.
Instead, he found “Ready to Work” in Boulder, a program designed to help those who are homeless or who have lost their way transition back into society. Housing, employment, guidance and support are all things they can offer.
John Trejo says the Community Table Kitchen is just one option.
“We work with them. We train them. We teach them and whether they are used to it or not, they like it. They realize ‘I could do this as a profession,’” he said. “All we ask is that they meet us 50 percent of the way, we will come the other 50 and we’ll help you.”
They now collaborate with Daconias to bake and package brownies, offer catering and prep, cook, and serve meals to those who need it the most.
“It’s rewarding to know we are doing what we can to help our community to help others at least get a hot meal,” Rodriguez said.
At the end of the eight month program, trainees a new resume and a new outlook on life.
“I’ve been out for a while I’ve been maintaining steady employment so it looks good it kind of outweighs the bad not by much but it does,” he laughed
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.