37-year-old Jimmy Perry works as a line cook at Oliver Gospel’s Men’s Center.
After being tossed by the waves of addiction, loss, and hard times, he made it to where he is today with the help of the community surrounding him.
After losing his mom at the age of four, he was sad to know she would miss out on most of his life. His dad raised him and his siblings well, but he still mourned not having a mother figure growing up. In her absence, he became close with his paternal grandmother until she died in 2011. That was when he hit rock bottom and fell into a downward spiral.
The father of two young kids and supported by a family that loved him, his sister encouraged him to enroll in Oliver Gospel’s Recovery program. After graduating from Oliver’s Gospel’s program, he was hired as a line cook in the Men’s Center kitchen. Jimmy says he healed at Oliver Gospel because here he “began to truly know God, was surrounded by Christ-minded men: the staff, residents, the public that we feed.” The contribution of each community member around him from his time as a resident and now giving back as a staff member, are all a part of Jimmy's transformation.
“Having somebody listen to your story, listen to where you are coming from, to know that they are here with you. You are not by yourself. To see the men going through the program like I did, I don’t feel so alone now.” Jimmy is an encouragement and bright light to our community through his experience and tenure at Oliver Gospel. He makes the dining room and kitchen a fun place to be and loves without abandon. Because of his own life experiences, Jimmy makes our community stronger and knows how to listen to and love those in need of community themselves.