Acrylic on canvas, 16x16in - 2022

Monique started drinking at age 11. “It was something we did in my family.” She lived with addiction for many years, even as she worked and raised a family. Eventually it caught up with her. “I got up one morning and said, ‘Enough’s enough.’”

A colleague recommended the Food Services Training Program, which she began in 2016. It gave her the support she needed to stay sober and the skills to land a good job. But that was just the beginning. “The Mission gave me a reason to get up in the morning.” She started work at 6am, preparing meals for shelter guest. “I graduated from the program. That made me proud, and I also got motivation and self-esteem.”

Monique works at Chef Ric’s at the storefront counter serving customers healthy prepared foods. “I love working with food. You don’t see the hours go by.”