Darrick Bradford

I’ve been part of the Camillus House kitchen for 14 years. I’ve always had a passion for cooking, and Camillus allowed me to turn that passion into a career. It’s been an enormous blessing.

I found Camillus initially as a client, having struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. The turning point came when my mother passed away while I was in prison. Her passing pushed me to reevaluate my life. Amid my struggles, I turned to prayer; my pastor and church led me to Camillus House, where I received a fresh start.

Upon entering the Camillus program, the director at the time recognized my potential and became my mentor. Under his guidance, I explore the dynamics of the kitchen, learning the do’s, the don’ts, the ends, and the outs, attending seminars and hospitality institutes to refine my skills.

Three years later, after rigorous training and hands-on experience, I officially joined the Camillus House kitchen as an employee. Today, I am the Chef and kitchen supervisor. I am forever grateful for the chance to give back to those in similar situations I once faced.

At Camillus House, we serve approximately 300 residents daily, providing them breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, we extend our services to 100 individuals from outside the facility every morning, totaling around 400 for weekday breakfast. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we prepare a hot lunch for individuals who don’t reside at Camillus House.

My journey taught me the importance of admitting struggles and seeking help. For anyone facing addiction, whether in the kitchen industry or elsewhere, the first step is acknowledging the problem. There are numerous resources to offer support if you are open to receiving it. I understand the challenges that come with overcoming addiction. Miracles happen when you take that step toward recovery, and I’m a living testament to the transformative power of seeking help and embracing a new path in life.