Colin Scott spent most of summer 2019 working “crazy” hours at the Pacific Room, a new seafood restaurant on Alki Beach in West Seattle, where he was quickly promoted to lead line cook soon after graduating from FareStart’s Adult Culinary Program. He was thrilled to be working with a chef who had three decades of experience. Things were really going his way, until the pandemic forced the Pacific Room to scale-back from five cooks to one.
“I was very nervous. I didn’t know what was going to happen,” says Scott (who goes by his last name). “I didn’t want to lose my housing. I didn’t want to lose my job.”
When he got laid off, Scott’s landlord assured him she’d be patient about rent. She also encouraged him to check in with FareStart. She’d heard about a new effort to feed people in need and figured there might be job openings. There were – Scott joined FareStart's emergency meals staff as a dishwasher in early April and jumps in to assist with meal prep whenever extra hands are needed.
Some days, the stress of wearing protective masks and gloves all day and being diligent about social distancing is a lot to carry.
“But at the end of the day, you know what you’re doing is providing a real service to the community. It makes it all worth it,” says Scott.
Scott is grateful for the job. Relying on the self-empowerment and life skills training he received at FareStart, Scott is continuing to move his life in a positive direction. After surviving three bouts of homelessness, the counseling he received during his training at FareStart helped him heal from traumas in his past.
“I definitely want to use this experience as a platform to catapult myself forward,” says Scott. “Right now, I’m washing dishes.… it’s wet. It gets hot. It can be kind of overwhelming sometimes. But I’m in there, working those dishes, just as if I was on the line.”