ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – When we met Frank Schlotter, an Army veteran who once served in Iraq, he was living at the St. Francis House in St. Augustine.
“If I can’t find a job, I can just imagine what Joe Somebody could do for a job. I mean it’s hard. It’s hard out there,” said Schlotter.
Schlotter admits he’s not without faults. But he says he’s now trying to turn his life around, something not easy to do, when you can’t find a job.
It’s a tale Renee Morris hears all too often.
“People always say, 'Well get a job, get a job,' there aren’t jobs out there. It’s very difficult,” said Morris, the Executive Director of the St. Francis House.
St. Francis House, in conjunction with Flagler College and First Coast Technical College, came up with a plan, a passport to a better life.
It all starts with a pretzel.
“Why pretzels? That’s a good question,” Morris laughed. “Well for one thing, pretzels are delicious!”
The program, called Passport Pretzels, is a job training program that targets the homeless. They’ll learn how to make pretzels professionally and in turn will get the skills and certification needed to get a job in the food service industry. The plan is to then sell the pretzels around town to help St. Francis House afford the costs.
“To give them an opportunity to work and to give back to the community with their work, I mean it’s a win-win,” said Morris.
Schlotter hopes it’s also a foot in the door to a better life.
Morris says the goal is to launch Passport Pretzels this August if they have enough funding.
Go to Passport Pretzels
to learn more about the program and how to donate.