• February 19, 2019

From Jail To Top Chef

From Jail To Top Chef

From Jail To Top Chef 634 1024 admin

Eugene is a 36-year-old who grew up between Michigan and California, and in early adulthood attended Long Beach City College where he dreamed of becoming a chef. During that time, Eugene fell victim to substance use, which eventually led him to drop out of college, experience turmoil in his personal relationships, be in and out of jail, and eventually become homeless. During this difficult time, Eugene enrolled in Breaking Barriers, a rapid rehousing program serving adults on felony probation. In the program, Eugene received housing and case management services from Brilliant Corners and employment services from Chrysalis. He maintained his sobriety at the time of his enrollment in the program, but fell back into addiction within a few months of being stably housed. Working with his case manager, Eugene went through a rehabilitation program and focused on working through a sobriety plan. With the support of his care team, Eugene was accepted into L.A. Kitchen, a Los Angeles-based culinary training program for formerly incarcerated individuals. Eugene successfully completed his culinary training while maintaining his sobriety and shortly thereafter found employment with CAVA, a new Mediterranean restaurant, where he quickly worked his way up. Today, Eugene is the Head Chef at CAVA and travels the country, training chefs at new restaurant locations. His participation in Breaking Barriers provided him with access to stable housing and a strong network of service providers to support him on his journey to self-sufficiency. Eugene is no longer on probation and celebrated two years of sobriety this past October.

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