My name is Oscar.
I was 16 years old when I left home. I moved out due to domestic violence issues at home, then lost my job and turned to partying and drugs. The drugs got worse and “visits” to jail were frequent for me. After six years I decided enough was enough and started a treatment program to overcome my struggles with addiction.
I completed the program in January of 2021. As soon as I left I ended up having a pretty rough experience again and I ended up losing my partner at the time. I was on the cusp of heading down that spiral I just came out of.
So I didn’t really know what to do.
About a week later, I connected with Wood’s Homes and they helped me find a place to live and they came and picked me up. I was dealing with the grief of losing my partner while trying to remain sober.
Without Wood’s Homes I would likely be dead, on drugs or back in jail.
I was very vulnerable when I went back to Wood’s Homes and didn’t know what to do or what I wanted to be.
Through Wood’s Homes I fell into YCAP (Youth Culinary Arts Program) and realized this was my life goal. The Chef of the program said I was a natural, I knew my way around the kitchen and was the student he always wants as I was respectful, listened and enthusiastic. My culinary interest started when I was in junior high and continued into high school.
I hadn’t been in a kitchen for about three years because of my life choices and what not. My first intention was to get my feet wet and get back into the field. But with my culinary skill I was fast tracked into a Peer Leader position (similar to a sous-chef in a restaurant) at YCAP.
Wood’s Homes encouraged me, pointed me in the right direction and gave me the confidence to continue my training. I will be attending culinary school this fall!
Wood’s Homes never gave up on me.