'Vets-2-Chefs' Program gives homeless vets a new beginning

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 17:23:53-04

Collin Mapps and Beau Highland never thought they would be good at cooking. The two are veterans who signed up for the "Vets-2-Chef" program in Lakewood Ranch.

"This helps me up and puts me in a better place," said Highland.

The program was started by Chef Bryan Jacobs. Jacobs started the program after he left the military.

"You have pride when you get out and then you have all these skills, but what to do with them," said Jacobs.

He's taken about two dozen area veterans and gave them cooking skills.

"A lot of these guys have PTSD and they are displaced are even homeless," said Jacobs.

Jacobs said the vets leave the course after about twelve weeks and find jobs at Tampa Bay area restaurants.

"Most of these guys are making $12 per hour or more when they leave here," said Jacobs.

He plans to expand the program to beyond Manatee and Sarasota Counties.