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Chico, Calif.-- In a time where the community of Chico is divided on how best to address the issue of homelessness, one local service provider is trying something new to help people transition back into the work force.
The new "Breakfast Club" at the Torres Shelter is not meant to be a hand-out - it's actually a work opportunity for shelter guests.
Bill Slack, the shelter supervisor says this started up back in January as a collaboration between retired CUSD employee Charlotte Sturgis, the Community Action Agency and Torres Shelter Executive Director Joy Amaro who all came up with a plan to send residents out for the day with a balanced meal.
There are strict rules here for guests regarding what time they need to head out for the day - part of the deal is that they get a place to stay as long as they're actively working or seeking employment.
So, this is not encouraging people on the streets to come in for a free meal, it's incentive to keep up the good work.
"We require guests that are working here to be safe-serve certified so when they apply for these jobs, the employers don't have to worry about it, it's done. And these guests spend up to 30 hours a week here and that's amazing for an employers to say, 'yeah, they've got real-world experience'," said Shelter Monitor Joe Rogers.
The Community Action Agency North State Food Bank provides weekly donations of eggs, milk, potatoes, onions and fruit.
And the workers who are shelter guests do meal planning, inventory, cooking and sanitation.
They're all certified in food safety and sanitation and the experience is meant to be a stepping stone to getting a job in the food industry.