Feature story about the Program Manager at the Open Hand Kitchen who was a client at St. Vincent de Paul’s St. Jude Recovery Center for Women.
Inspiration for the work we do at St. Vincent de Paul can be found in the many success stories of those that are able to turn the corner and find a new lease on life. Angela Leavell is one of those stories.
After a short stint in prison stemming from drug and alcohol related charges, Angela found herself at St. Jude’s Women’s Recovery Center where she spent a year in the program and worked with her counselor, Debbie Slagle-Pike and her case manager Renée Bailey. Debbie is now Coordinator of Clinical Services and Renée is program manager at Roberts Hall.
After graduating from a culinary program, Angela began working part-time in the Open Hand Kitchen. Today, she is the program manager and spends her days planning menus, managing the kitchen staff, and coordinating food donations. “This work has given me the stability to provide for my 5-year old daughter, Madison, and purchase my first home. Today, I celebrate 11 years of sobriety,” Angela said.
In addition to a hot meal, Angela lends an ear to anyone that needs it. Angela said, “I have that passion to help. I don’t judge anyone. We don’t ask questions. You could be low on money or something came up and you don’t have money to buy food. Sometimes they just want to have a conversation because they’re having a bad day. They know about my story and you’ve got to have that trust.”
Angela exemplifies everything we stand for here at St. Vincent de Paul. Feeding, clothing, and sheltering those in need and the support provided by our staff is important work. Equally important is the support we receive from donors and volunteers like you.