Stefan DeArmon wasn’t homeless through anything but self-sacrifice. The veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard had decided that he needed to return to Charleston, South Carolina, to help his parents at any cost once he left the service; which meant giving up the idea of having a home in order to look after his legally blind mother and his father who had been in and out of the hospital.
It was a veteran service worker who got him into a shelter and it was One80 Place, a shelter that provides unique job opportunities for residents, which led him to turning everything around. The programs at One80 place helped DeArmon get involved with a culinary training program which also encouraged him to get involved with a local kitchen for a Wine & Food festival. That is how he ended up working with a BBQ restaurant he had eaten at before called Smoke. Smoke owner Roland Feldman saw DeArmon in his black chef’s coat and a white undershirt which just had the collar peaking out; Feldman recalls saying “Sir, you’ve got the spirit. I’m calling you ‘the Reverend’ and you’re coming to work at Smoke,” and taking DeArmon on as a dishwasher.
Stefan quickly proved himself capable and worked his way up to food prep and it was while working his station one day that a fateful mistake happened. While making a batch of cornbread he mistakenly added heavy cream instead of buttermilk. Rather than have it tossed to start a new batch, Feldman encouraged him to cook it up and see how it tastes. It turned out to be delicious.
Now Stefan DeArmon has his own food truck that delivers food to the homeless several times a month, he teaches culinary classes at One80’s culinary program, and has his own business. All of that thanks to the help of a homeless shelter program, the belief of someone in a position of authority, and his own efforts. Also the grace of God for being in the right place at the right time. Proof that nothing happens by only the efforts of a single individual and that even the best need help now and then.
If you would like to know more about DeArmon’s incredible choices you can find more and even find video in your Good News Story of the Day here.
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