Nashville jewelry company 'Unlocked' helps people transition from homelessness

Posted at 9:22 AM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 10:23:23-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For those stuck in a cycle of poverty and homelessness learning a new skill can be a way out. Now there's a Nashville company unlocking hidden potential.

Leticia Bustamante says she likes to work.

"I don't like being out there, asking for handouts or panhandling," she said.

And watching her make pretty things it's hard to imagine her life on the streets.

"My landlord raised my rent. I had to leave," she said.

Bustamante works for Unlocked, a company started by Vanderbilt graduate Corbin Hooker. Together with his co-founder Alexis, Hooker created a social enterprise that employs people transitioning out of homelessness.

people want to help everybody sees this issue in nashville so we're trying to give other people opportunities to help.

Now, employees like Bustamante design necklaces, bracelets and earrings sold in local boutiques and online.

"They sign each product so that the customer knows exactly who made it," he said.

They work out of space inside Community Care Fellowship, a non-profit that's been serving the homeless for 35 years.

Executive Director Ryan Lasuer says integrating this company into their holistic program -- is a beautiful thing.

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