SAME Cafe | Serving Good Food for the Greater Good

Community Profile – Dusty

Dusty is quiet in the kitchen, hardworking and cooperative.  He is comfortable chopping vegetables or washing dishes.  He came to SAME Cafe from Workfare, a program of the Department of Human Services.  He gets food assistance from DHS.   As a result of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act of 1996, participants who are identified as “able-bodied adults without dependents” must complete 20 hours each week in order to receive more than three months of food assistance. Dusty has been out of work for a long time.  He is originally from Witchita, KS but he has been in Denver for 10 years.  He has worked in elderly care homes, country clubs, and restaurants; all in food service.  Before that he was a truck driver.  When Dusty’s case worker found out he had experience in food service and he liked the food service industry, she knew just where to place him for a successful partnership.  Dusty has been coming to SAME Cafe for months now.  He returns because he likes it.  His favorite times at SAME Cafe are when we are super busy and there are tons of dishes.  He loves eating Brad’s soup.  Today, Dusty came to me with tears in his eyes.  He said, “Bad news.  You have me on the schedule for the 5th.  That might be my last day.  I have a bus ticket to Arkansas.  My brother is helping me with a job.”  I didn’t know whether to cry or jump up and down.  We’ve come to love and appreciate Dusty so much here.  He is such a great worker.  It will be a loss to this community for sure but I was so proud in that moment.

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