Chef Luis Realpozo
Homeward Bound was first started in 1974 under the name “Marin Housing Center” to address the problem of homelessness. After many trying years and the realization that a shelter alone would not solve homelessness, in 1996 Homeward Bound of Marin was born with the vision of “opening doors to safety, dignity, hope and independence.”
Its success immediately led to talk of “the next step” for people completing their journeys from crisis to stability to thriving. This concept became The Next Key Center with 32 studio apartments, room to grow the Fresh Starts Culinary Academy and space to expand social enterprise businesses like rental of The Key Room event space, on-site catering and production of chocolate Halo Truffles.
Currently, Homeward Bound of Marin is Marin County’s chief provider of shelter and residential services for homeless families and individuals, serving approximately 1,300 people per year with a total of 14 inter-related residential programs. Their overarching goal is to end homelessness in Marin County and they are well on their way with an admirable record of success — in 2014, 88% of families and 84% of adults who completed their programs moved into stable housing. Please click here to view visual “map” of all their programs.
The Republic of Tea has provided volunteers and donations to Homeward Bound of Marin over the years, as it is just up the street from our headquarters. We are honored to officially partner with Homeward Bound of Marin as the official sponsor of their Fresh Starts Chef Events. This wonderful program invites celebrity chefs from around the U.S. to host a cooking class for Marin residents once a month. This program helps fund their program called Fresh Starts Culinary Academy, which is a 16-week course designed to prepare their residents for jobs in the busy culinary and restaurant industry.