Help Prevent Paul from Becoming Homeless

I had the honor of meeting Paul while I was newly cooking in my commercial kitchen space at PCCI, a nonprofit that helps homeless individuals to secure housing and get back on their feet. Paul was homeless at the time, and he had heard that I needed help in the kitchen. Although I told him I didn’t have the funds to pay another employee at the moment, Paul volunteered to wash dishes for me, explaining that he just needed a purpose, since his disability didn’t allow him to take on full-time work. He said he would be happy to donate his services. I remember being shocked that a man so in need would volunteer to help me with my business. Paul showed up the next day, and every day thereafter, on time and with a smile on his face. Quickly, I found a way to officially welcome him as a member of my kitchen team, which was very obviously becoming a new kind of family to me.

Not only did Paul lighten my work load markedly, his work ethic was powerful. That man moved at high speeds and would jump into any task I presented to him. It still makes me chuckle to think of the time he scrubbed the red right off my radishes and the skins right off of my sweet potatoes. He just wanted to scrub them the best he could.

In the face of adversity, Paul’s attitude was beyond admirable. He always said, “You gotta keep your chin up, so you can go up!”, and he found gratitude in just being alive.  To this day, when I seem down, my husband will remind me of Paul’s sage words, and they always make me smile. And I think of Paul’s strength and devotion when I feel weak.  He cared for his father full-time during his last year of life with Alzheimer’s in Paul’s tiny one bedroom apartment, staying up all hours of the night to be sure his father was safe. He’s a good-hearted man.

My kitchen family and I look out for one another, even though it’s been years since we’ve worked together. And right now, Paul is in need. Once a person becomes homeless, the process of maintaining independence and getting ahead is incredibly tenuous. There is a serious lack of resources in our country to support those with disability and illness. Recently, Paul has experienced some sudden and unexpected personal troubles and now faces the mountainous task of trying to figure out how to pay rent this month with only his SSI Disability check, which is not enough. He does not have a support system here in Atlanta, so I am reaching out to mine.

This year for my birthday, I would be so grateful if you could donate any amount of money to help Paul remain in his home and not become homeless again. He deserves what we all deserve, a chance to steady ourselves and create a new path to independence when the rug is pulled out from under us. It’s my turn to help Paul hold his chin up so he can go up. Thank you for reading and for being a part of my powerful Village.


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Ashli Price 
Decatur, GA
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