Jon Termini is an interesting man. He is quiet, but not shy. He is a willing helper but asks very little for himself. Jon is an achiever, and he walks with a quiet confidence and an easy smile. Things haven’t always been easy for Jon.
He describes his early life as being from a multi-cultural family that moved around a great deal. Nowhere really feels like home to Jon.
He came to the shelter in his early twenties. Things were going “pretty well” for this young man until he lost his job and was unable to find other work right away. Without an income, he lost his residence pretty quickly and was couch-surfing with friends and hanging out in places that stayed open for twenty-four hours until he finally ended up sleeping in his car. Jon worked hard to avoid ever having the cliched appearance of a homeless man. He is always well-groomed and never unkempt. It is a point of pride and dignity with him.
One of my very first memories of Jon when he came to GSS was that he needed some money to get his car on the road. Lending money can be a tricky business, particularly when we haven’t gotten to know a man well. Jon got the loan, fixed his car and repaid the loan in a very short time. Clearly, keeping his word is important.
Getting to know Jon can be a challenge, because he is always on his way somewhere. He stays busy, constantly improving and achieving. He sometimes works two jobs, and has been taking night classes at a local community college.
When Good Samaritan ventured into our own business with the Nourish food truck effort, there were two basic principles. Deliver a quality product, and help the men get back on their feet by providing employment. For many of our men, their road to the shelter has not provided an encouraging background for employment. Many employers simply will not even consider helping out a guy that is unemployed and living in a shelter. Providing a resume piece for them is vital to the mission of Nourish, and more importantly, to their lives. The men that are hired by Nourish are aware that they have been given an opportunity, and they make the most of it. Jon demonstrates this better than anyone.
He was the first Nourish hire, and he assisted Keith Misner by learning every single facet of the business. He works on inventory, and ordering. He picks up food, and serves customers. He even learned to drive the rig!
Now Jon is moving on, pursuing his dream to become a Chef. He will be attending the Culinary Institute in New York City, a prestigious event in his life. As he prepares to leave, he has voiced his gratitude to GSS for providing a stable home and many resources.
Jon will be greatly missed around The Shelter, along with his co-workers and customers at Nourish. He leaves big empty shoes along with his legacy here. He is often chosen to speak for The Good Samaritan Shelter, and for Nourish. His speaks with both great gratitude and determination, willingly sharing the fact that when he came to us, he was only expecting shelter. Jon never dreamed that there would be so many opportunities for him, from loans to support and encouragement, for a new community and employment that would reawaken his love for the opportunity to feed others.
When you buy from Nourish it contributes to improving lives, and provides a good man with another chance.
Here is the finest testimony that we can provide. Because of the experience that Jon has gained at Nourish, his school has provided him with a three thousand dollar grant!
Nourish, and The Good Samaritan Shelter provided that opportunity. The support of the community paved the way for a very good man to accomplish a dream.