From homelessness to an executive suite

VIDEO - In 1999, Orlando Ward started to climb the ladder of success after having a talk with God...

In a time where unemployment is at 8.6 percent and people are losing hope in the economy, one man’s success story inspires others to succeed during the recession. Orlando Ward, who was once homeless, considers himself as “somebody that’s in the hope business”

Ward used to live on the streets of Skid Row in Los Angeles, however as a former high school basketball star, Ward did not plan on living on the streets. Orlando was recruited by hundreds of colleges and eventually played basketball for Stanford. He then found a job and enjoyed success for a short time until he “fell of the rails.”

“Happy hour became happy couple of hours, happy night, happy couple of days. Somewhere during that period, I crossed the invisible line,” said Orlando.

In 1999, Ward started to climb the ladder of success after having a talk with God. After years of drugs, denial, and rehab, Orlando, at the age of 38, was finally able to leave his addictions in the past. For two years Orlando was homeless living in a cardboard box, detached from his loved ones.

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He found a job working at the Midnight Mission, a soup kitchen, working in the kitchen, then a supervisor to a manager and finally an executive.

“I have a responsibility to demonstrate to people that are where I was that there’s no limits.”