SPOKANE, Wash. - They're doing a lot more than just feeding hungry stomachs at the Union Gospel Mission. They are feeding the soul, and their executive chef is the change he's working to see in those he serves.
Running a kitchen that feeds hundreds is no easy task, but Steve Viers does that and much more with ease. Not only is he the executive chef at the Union Gospel Mission, he's a teacher and mentor too.
Steve helps those staying at UGM by teaching them skills in the kitchen they can use to get jobs.
Whether teaching how to be a line cook, or how to be a food server, Steve knows it all, but he doesn't do it for the money.
"I make half of what i used to make, I work for a non-profit now and everything, but I don't do it for the money anymore, I do it for different reasons and that's my paycheck," Viers said.
When Steve walked through the doors here at the Union Gospel Mission six years ago, little did he know that not only would his life change, but he would go on to change the lives of many others.
"July 26th, 2006 about 10:05 in the morning is when i showed up. I will never forget that day," Viers said.
Steve came to the mission looking for a new beginning.
"I had lost everything, 24 years a heroin addict and been in prison, the whole nine yards, been shot, stabbed, physically abused as a child, I mean you name it, run over twice intentionally, just a really rough life getting to where I'm at today," he said.
Steve knew if he was given a second chance, he could get put life on the right track. Since then, he's proven anyone can change their life for the better.
"I've burned bridges that I never thought I'd rebuild, it's made me a better father, better brother, son, friend," he said.
Through hard work and perseverance, Steve has transformed from a person with no hope, to someone who has hope to share...
"My mom for the first time in my life has said that she's proud of me," Viers said. "I'm 41 years old now so that's huge for me."
While some of his previous years may be dark, his future is most certainly bright.
"There's not enough i can do here with these guys to pay back what has been given to me."
If you know an Everyday Hero KXLY should profile, e-mail Nadine Woodward at NadineW@kxly.com or on Twitter at @NadineKXLY.