In July, John Olander, Bayaud employee (and former constituent) cohosted Tattered Cover Bookstore’s The Open Mic Night at its Colfax location. Olander came to Bayaud Enterprises to maintain compliance with his sobriety program.
Olander grew up in Denver’s Park Hill community in the 60s and 70s and in later years, struggled with sobriety, which rendered him homeless in 2020. A friend took him in, and Olander discovered writing as a second love. “It’s okay to need someone else’s help,” is a central theme to Olander’s poem, Hope. (See Facebook link https://fb.watch/mUJn_FRpqi/)
The combination of meaningful employment at Bayaud, and the successful completion of Providence House’s two-year faith-based residential treatment program led to Olander’s solid recovery. Weekly writing in The Story at SAME (So All May Eat) Café and through the Hard Times writing group provide new stability in his life. This experience and his active assistance to those still experiencing homelessness prompted his selection as an “I am Denver” storyteller through the Denver Public Library.
“I always try to find ways to use my unique skills and experiences to help others,” stated Olander. “I believe in synergy, and I try to look out for the interests of all.”
The fourth The Story-Open Mic will be held at Tattered Cover/Colfax on November 9, 2023. This eclectic, diverse community event leaves the Tattered Cover venue buzzing.