CHEF VYKY and the CITY OF REFUGE
"Listen, I'm sorry. I have to get off the phone now. I want to be able to tell you more, but my ladies come first." These are the words of Chef Vyky who works at the City of Refuge kitchen in Atlanta, Georgia. And, while my interview with the chef was not long, I was thankful that she took time out of her busy day to talk with me. Her customers are some very important people who desperately need Chef Vyky's time, attention, and talent. The guests that Chef Vyky serves are temporary residents at Eden Village - an incredible facility that features 40 individual, hotel-style units for homeless women with children and 100 beds for single women. Chef Vyky describes these ladies as, "...Women who have lost everything including thier pride. It's not enough for someone to slap down some food in front of you. you are already devastated."
|With the Kitchen Staff - Photograph by Nick Burchell|
The 180 Kitchen is just one of the supportive programs and services that the City of Refuge offers. Other services include primary medical and mental health treatment, job placement, transition into permanent housing, daycare/preschool, GED preparation, after-school tutoring for children, and case management. In my opinion it is a stellar outfit that is truly working to accomplish its goal to "empower homeless women and children to regain control over their lives and to attain self-sufficiency." Chef Vyky confirmed this mission goal by telling me that everyone who makes their way to the City of Refuge is treated with respect, courtesy and dignity despite their circumstance.
Finally, I learned that Chef Vyky also faced the recent passing of her husband. Imagine, under this duress she has tirelessly given her time and efforts to the ladies at Eden Village.
"Vyky, I wish you the best." ~Walter Scheib