(KMTR) -- A new addition to Eugene's food cart scene is gaining a following for not only pumping out comfort food, but also turning lives around, giving ex-convicts a new lease on life by hiring them.
Streets Food Cart is the inspiration of Eugene native Juston Swan who was trying to get back on his feet and stay out of trouble. For nearly a decade, Swan was in and out of Oregon prisons serving time for drug-fueled crimes.
Swan runs 'Streets' on 6th Avenue and Lincoln Street near Washington / Jefferson park in Eugene. Nearly every day, Swan is here cooking up biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches and his legendary cinnamon rolls plus other food items from scratch. Swan opened the cart in December 2011 in an effort to stay clean and is now getting major credit for helping others while making great food. Swan said one of the biggest challenges of staying clean was not being able to get a job as a convicted felon.
Juston and his parents, who ran Eugene’s Street Ministry for nearly 20 years, decided to create the food cart to give Juston and others who’ve traveled a similar path a chance to show that felons can make a positive contribution to society after serving time if they are given the chance.
“We're helping people who are fresh out [of prison] which is a great group of people to work with because they're . . . the majority of people who are out of prison are very motivated, you know they've been clean for a while and they want to do good,” said Swan.
“I think for everybody in general but especially for people in some type of recovery is [the need for] a good support group, and we've got that here,” says Swan.
'Streets' is a non-profit and it's still building, but has the funding now to pay for two full-time workers. Juston says the plan is to get the food cart managed and staffed fully by ex-felons through the Sponsors rehabilitation program in Eugene.
All of the food at the cart is handmade by Juston and his co-workers.
The cart is open on 6th Avenue and Lincoln Street in Eugene from Tuesday through Friday, , and Saturdays from to