BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Dr. Brian Sleeth is the Executive Director of The Christian Outreach Center in Baton Rouge, which is a Christ-centered homeless intervention ministry helping people toward self-sufficiency.

The nonprofit provides an array of essential services, including food boxes, utility assistance, transportation, job readiness training as well as clothing vouchers.

Dr. Sleeth is a Baton Rouge native and has pastored and started churches around the country before coming back to the capital area in 2010.

“It was in 2009 during the recession that I faced a tough reality of what it’s like to experience homelessness or being unsheltered. I had four very young kids. I had my wife, and so I felt that I had failed them. I felt that I let my family down,” said Dr. Sleeth.

He didn’t let that stumbling block keep him down long. He bounced back after about six months, and a few years later, he became the leader of the outreach center.

“I believe this is my calling to this work. I can look our clients in the eye and say I was where you are. I know what you’re going through. If I can do it, you can do it. It’s possible, and in six months to a year, you can have a car and own a house too,” said Dr. Sleeth.

Job readiness training is not just teaching clients how to create resumes and mock interviews. Dr. Sleeth said they are about character development and restoring dignity.

Dr. Sleeth also opened The Purple Cow Thrift Stores in the capital area, giving clients professional clothing vouchers to help with their wardrobe when they find a new job.