On Monday morning in Englewood, class was in session for dozens of students working toward a new purpose. They're completing personal development courses through Cross Purpose, a nonprofit that gives people skills for future employment to help them build economic, social, and spiritual capital.
Cross Purpose CEO Jason Janz came up with the idea 10 years ago; since then, it's grown to help more than 300 families each year.
"We started realizing that a lot of the work we were doing was helping people in poverty — giving them Thanksgiving baskets or Christmas gifts or whatever — and not helping them get out of poverty," said Janz. "That led us to move away from relief into development work."
Janz and his staff help students outline a long-term path for future employment, polishing their resumes and taking them to the next rung on their career ladder. It's something Anthony Gutierrez says he's needed for years.
"I was actually referred by a friend and thought it was a great opportunity to come here," said Gutierrez. "I went down the wrong road with drug addiction. I've overcome that. Now that I'm two weeks in, I'm more than excited about my future here."
Vince Anders shares a similar story after being in and out of incarceration. "I've been homeless and from the streets and ended up being around the wrong people in life. I was eager to get my CDL and came across this opportunity on Instagram. The Lord works in mysterious ways," said Anders.
Both now have a changed perspective on life as they prep for job interviews, determined to do better.
"There's a lot of people out there, I feel like I'm not the only one. God is good, and He can help out anybody," Gutierrez added.
"If you put your mind to your hopes and dreams you can make it happen," Anders told CBS News Colorado's Mekialaya White.
"And you're living proof of that," said White.
"I am, definitely," Anders replied, beaming with pride.
Cross Purpose just opened its second location in Englewood and plans to have two more in the coming months. If you'd like to learn more or apply for the program, check out: https://www.crosspurpose.org/.
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