With every documentation of civilization, there have been recorded instances of chaos alongside said order. From criminal offenses requiring convictions to poverty that may result to prostitution, they’ve all happened from the empiric rule of Babylon to Rome. Even in present day, we still have such issues with criminals and prostitutes, but they also have prospects that are willing and loving to give them a second chance.
The Inquisitr reported on such organizations, either they be non-profit or not, that appeal to give those who’ve transgressed an opportunity at a better life. Annie Lobert, for example, established Hookers for Jesus, a non-profit organization that reaches out to prostitutes and other victims of sex trafficking, giving them a way out. In a similar situation, a Catholic nun assists police in raiding brothels, freeing the women trapped in the seedy business, giving their lives back to them.
Now, there are new reports of a Hawaiian eatery known as the Seed Restaurant after one year and how they’ve followed their mission: to give the homeless, prostitutes, and criminals a second chance at life.
According to Honolulu Magazine, Seed Restaurant was founded by Jordan and Sonya Seng, opening up in February of 2014. They follow the same plan that Bluewater Mission, a non-denominational church, follows through two focuses. The first focus is healthy food. Such fare includes brown rice cooked with chia seeds and quinoa, veggie stir-fries, baked katsu chicken, and fresh catch-of-the-day. There are even an array of juices, which includes fresh-pressed juice pairings. However, it is their second focus that is receiving a lot of attention. On the back of their menus, Seed Restaurant let’s everyone know their value of justice.
“Our business is an expression of justice. Seed is staffed by survivors of homelessness, human trafficking, domestic abuse and other unique challenges … Justice works. Enjoy the food.”
People agree the second focus is quite admirable, but how does it hold up? Huffington Post recently reported on the one-year anniversary of Seed Restaurant, interviewing one of the people staffed. Mary Nelson started working at the restaurant, last year. She hid in the back as a dishwasher because she was too intimidated to interact with customers who she called “the good people.” Now, Nelson is one of the most popular waitresses at the restaurant.
“I get to be the person I was never able to be. I get to help people without someone trying to take advantage of me.”
Take into account Mary Nelson said people tried to take advantage of her. The reason why is prior to her position at Seed Restaurant, she ran the streets as a prostitute for the last 38 years. She began at the age of 14 right after her mom committed suicide. When she reached the age of 18, she heard clients were less violent in Hawaii, so she jumped on a plane and moved to Waikiki. It wasn’t until her early 50s that a church group persuaded Nelson to leave behind prostitution — a life in which she describes being a “living corpse” — to work at Seed Restaurant.
Mary Nelson is happy where she is now, but she does remind her fellow staffers that what she makes in a month at the restaurant, she can make in one night on the streets. The difference is the fact Seed Restaurant offers far more than what prostitution promises.
“[Y]ou can’t buy what I’m going through right now. I’m on cloud nine. I never thought that I’d be in Hawaii and be this person I am now.”
Mary Nelson has also become proactive through the church that saved her from her previous life. Recently, she took time off to go on a church outreach to prostitutes working in the Philippines. Nelson’s mission is to help women who are now living the life trapped in sex trafficking, a life she freed herself from.
“I want those women to know there’s hope. You can change. There are people out there that really want to help and you’ve got to have faith and try to believe. Just like you went out there and took a chance on the streets, you’ve got to take a chance on this as well.”
Career Changers TV recently did a special on Seed Restaurant which features Mary Nelson. In it, she talks about her life working as a prostitute and the life she now has working for Seed Restaurant. From how she talks about her transition, it seems as if the restaurant was the catalyst that helped Nelson go from just existing to truly living. And Nelson is just one of many people who received their second chance thanks to Seed Restaurant.
[Images via Seed Restaurant Promotions through Honolulu Magazine]