Chef finds new start at shelter

CCD_SamaritanHouse_ThomasMcCarty (4)

“I’m Tommy and I’m a cook at Samaritan House shelter. As sous chef (second in command), I oversee cooking dinner for 350 residents—plus I train residents in the new culinary program. I’m grateful to work here.

I struggled before I came here. My wife was killed by a drunk driver five years ago. It happened on Highway 287. After 21 years of marriage, it brought me down hard. I drank too much. I’m not an alcoholic, but I chose to bury my feelings in a bottle instead of dealing with them. I’m okay now.

Then I decided it was time to get back on my feet. I knew about Samaritan House, because I once volunteered to feed the homeless outside near the shelter. I applied to the Samaritan House program and got in the first day. It was a God thing. I couldn’t have done it without him.

I started working in the kitchen and soon completed the shelter program. I didn't like the food. I thought, ‘This has got to change.’ Then they hired me on as a full-time chef. I’ve worked here now for four months.

Cooking is my specialty. When I grew up in Amarillo, Texas, my parents owned restaurants from a pizza place, to a steak joint and then a donut shop. I grew up in it. I moved to Colorado 17 years ago—God has been a part of my life every step of the way. I continue to go to Mass at Holy Ghost Parish downtown. I’m appreciative of the opportunity to work at Samaritan House.”


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