MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Opportunities come when you least expect it. For one Memphis resident, his opportunity couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
During the winter, the back of GodBody 901 gym was home for Brian Taylor.
“I was in and out of jail and stuff. I ended up losing my job. I fell off from there,” said Taylor.
He was homeless until gym owner, Roderick “Chef P” Duncan, caught Taylor sleeping in the back of one of his cars. “My first mind said to drag him by his collar, but my heart said no, grab his ankles. My spirit said no, he might need a little help,” said Duncan, GodBody 901 Owner.
Duncan gave Taylor clothes, a room and a job at the gym. “I told him, ‘Man, it’s a bottom where you are. You’re not at the bottom yet. It’s low, but it’s bottom where you are now. You can climb back out of it,’” said Duncan. “I didn’t want him to be another person that my mom had to watch her back from. If he’s out here hurting on the street, he’s going to survive. That’s human instinct…I came from nothing and nobody would give me a chance either… Most people don’t have that mentality to make their own chance, so they need an opportunity.”
It is a chance that also comes with lessons. “If you start to look like something, you start to think like something. If you start to think like something, you start to do something especially do something different from what you’ve been doing,” said Duncan.
“As me being a Black male, a young Black male, it showed me a lot and taught me a lot,” said Taylor. “It showed me that you never judge a book by its cover…It made me feel accepted.”
It is acceptance of both himself and others. “Getting myself together, I plan on starting me a business taking in youth males and everything for homeless males between the ages of 18 and 24 or 25,” said Taylor. “Just pray about it. It’s not over. You’ll always have a chance. You can always do it again if you mess up.”