Frank O’dea, co-founder of Second Cup, began dealing with alcoholism at the age of 13 and was homeless by the time he entered his 20s.
It was a long and arduous battle to the success he enjoys today.
“I had no cellphone, no address and the top of my resume was panhandling — not a lot of folks looking for that sort of thing,” O’Dea told Daybreak Kamloops.
On top of the physical barriers, such as not having a cellphone or a home address, O’dea dealt with many mental barriers as well. After spending years on the streets, finding the courage, self-confidence and self-respect to go hand out resumes seemed like an insurmountable task.
O’Dea credits the kindness and generosity of his community for helping him to get back on his feet.
“People took me out to a used clothing store to get me a suit so I could look better and that started to overcome some of the fear… It was the human interaction between the folks that were trying to help me and myself that allowed me to overcome the lack of courage I had to even go out and knock on doors.”
To those going through similar hardships, O’Dea offers this advice:
“Don’t be impatient, although that’s hard to say, I know, because having been there, ‘impatience’ is a buzz word. It takes time, but you need to keep going. Everyone in the world has to go to a lot of interviews to get a job. You will too. Lean on those who will support you and hang around people who will encourage you.”