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Central Union Mission: Homeless talk about life at mission

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For most of the men at Central Union Mission, the street has proved to be a lonely place.

“When you're down and out, you think nobody cares nothing about you,” says Charles Hill, a homeless man staying at the mission. It’s attitudes like that Earl Smith is working to change.

“It's a privilege, actually,” says Smith, a cook at the mission. He’s worked here since 2009. “In 2009, I came through the spiritual transformation program,” he says. Smith lived at the mission for a year while be battled emotional problems and teetered on the edge of addition.

“Earl is really good example of a guy who came here with a large number of problems,” says David Treadwell, the executive director. Smith says through the faith-based programs here he was able to find life again.

“Before I graduated, they asked me to cook,” he says.

“And he's a good cook,” Treadwell says. “So the guys love it when he cooks.” If you ask around, appreciation doesn’t stop at the kitchen.

“It makes me feel that I can do it,” says Charles Barrow, a man living at the mission. Earl has quickly become a living example of life after homelessness. “It's a blessing, it's just a blessing,” Barrow says.

“If I can do it, anyone can do it,” Smith says. As he gazes into the dining hall, it’s like a quick glance into the past.

“They're out there, they have no other place to go,” says Smith. “That’s what I’m thankful for, seeing them.”

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Cooking for those who need it and feeding his soul.

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