I experienced homelessness when I was 21 years old. A Good Samaritan took pity on me. He feed me and paid for me to stay in a kitchenette hotel for three weeks. It was the break I needed to restart my life. I knew this Good Samaritan for a total of about 6 hours, but the things he chose to bless me with, made all the difference in our world.
I started Other Side Ministries as an idea and a Facebook event. I and a handful of others served the homeless in front of Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS). We fed 250 people in minutes and ran out of food. It was the most humbling experience. The elation on everyone’s faces reflected their appreciation. I knew I found my purpose.
We began serving the homeless in January 2016 and became a non-profit April 2017. We originally served the homeless on the streets of Phoenix while developing, A New Beginning, our culinary job training and mentorship program for the low income and homeless community.
While serving in Phoenix we served over 10,000 meals and 2 tons of clothing, toiletries, socks, underwear, shoes, blankets, and dog food to the homeless community.
We began serving the homeless in January 2016 and became a non-profit April 2017. We originally served the homeless on the streets of Phoenix while developing “A New Beginning”, our culinary job training and mentorship program for the low income and homeless community. While serving in Phoenix we served over 13,000 meals and 2 tons of clothing, toiletries, socks, underwear, shoes, blankets, and dog food to the homeless community.
In September of 2018 our dream of “A New Beginning” became a reality. We began renting kitchen space at 659 E Main Street, Mesa, 85203. We then offered free cooking classes and community events for the residents of El Rancho Del Arte.
On April 11 th 2019 we began our inaugural class of “A New Beginning”. Over each 8-week course we provide each student a food handler’s card, teach knife skills and how to work at each station in a professional kitchen. The students learn hands on how to read and scale recipes and become familiar with all professional equipment in a kitchen such as broilers, grills, deep fryers and convection ovens. The students participate in outreach event to gain real world experience and give back to the community. Each student learns culinary language and professionalism so they may enter the workforce prepared to work in a fast-paced kitchen. In addition to lessons in the kitchen our students are also provided interview skills and resume writing classes. Between April 2019 and March 2020, we had 14 graduates with 9 obtaining work in the industry.
In March of 2020 as businesses shut down, we shifted our focus to providing food boxes to the home bound and people in need. Between March and June 2020, we distributed food to 508 individuals.
In June of 2020 we were blessed to become community partners with Genesis Project in Apache Junction. We now offer our classes at Genesis and are always accepting students A love-based ministry providing HOPE for our community though meals, resources, connections and education and seeking community partners to grow our A New Beginning program. We also went back to our roots and began outreach on alternating weekends at Genesis; to date we have served close to 5000 meals to 2900 persons.
We created a catering company for our graduates, students and persons within our community that are seeking hands on job training. Other Side Ministries Catering is our student-run catering company. This social enterprise is a great way for our students to gain real-world experience and get paid to do it. Empowering our students to take their lives back through an opportunity to learn and earn. Specializing in corporate catering and in-home event buffets our delicious comfort food will exceed you and your guest’s needs. Choose from our handcrafted menu or work with our chef to create the perfect menu for your event. Have a food allergy or eat a specific diet? We can create that for you too!
Rev Chef Jason Taylor C.D.M. C.F.P.P is a 30-year veteran of the culinary field working his way up through the ranks in high volume restaurants, catering, health care, and higher education. He has cooked for many high-profile clients but finds his greatest joy in teaching and sharing his passion for food with you.