Homeless Coalition Clients Staff Restaurant

Listen Now

There’s a new restaurant on Colfax Avenue in Denver -- a place called Pizza Fusion -- and it has an unusual staff, including people like Alfreda Anderson. She’d been out of work for more than two years before she landed this job and the money for basics had run out. “There was a point when I thought, you know . ..what am I going to do. Are we going to live in the street?” she says.

Anderson and her two boys wound up in shelters for four months, until the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless found them an apartment. That was about the same time, as it turned out, that the coalition opened Pizza Fusion and began hiring people who’d recently been homeless to staff it. Anderson jumped at the chance and got hired as a server. “My level of dignity went up,’’ she says. “I just feel I’m more happy in my life. I’m actually paying some of the bills I fell behind on.”

To learn more about the restaurant, Ryan Warner speaks with the president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, John Parvensky, and the restaurant’s manager, Mary Putman.

[Photo: Colorado Coalition For the Homeless]