Code Tenderloin: Boot camp readies homeless people for tech jobs

- When it comes to life in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, there's little Del Seymour hasn't seen.

He says he slept on those gritty sidewalks for years.

"When I was lying in this doorway eight years ago, people reached out and helped me up. And I have to reach out and pick everyone else up. I've got to do it," said Seymour.

Seymour later founded Code Tenderloin. It's a boot camp that readies homeless people for jobs with the help of high tech companies. It offers training in computer coding and other fields.

One man in the program spent three years behind bars on a gun charge.
         
"It’s a place where you go in bad and come out worse. I realized I had a problem and needed to put myself in a position to fix those problems," said Chad Roberts.

He now lives in a homeless shelter, learning high-tech job skills.

"I'm learning front-end coding, HTML, JavaScript. They work with you," said Roberts.

Code Tenderloin says it has found full-time jobs for about 70 homeless people and those just out prison in the past year.

"Background checks; we have a problem with that. So we are getting employers to take people with checkered backgrounds," said Seymour.

The program brings in mentors from various businesses.  It also connects those in the program with housing, rehab and other services.

It's also helping a woman who also served time in prison for selling drugs.
Now code Tenderloin is helping her start her own beauty supply business.

"Just because we are from the Tenderloin, we still can get a lot of help. It's not the end of the road because you've been in prison or jail," said Ellese Williams.

In the Tenderloin, hope is often in short supply, but Code Tenderloin is offering some optimism.

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