After eight years managing Little India restaurants, Yoakum left in 2013 because of a combination of illness and burnout. He soon lost himself to drugs and alcohol, got caught up with the wrong crowd and eventually found himself in prison.
After his release in 2019, Yoakum transitioned to a halfway house and found a job at a Jiffy Lube. While he was working to return to society, he dreamt about Little India and wondered if he would see its owner, Simeran Baidwan, drive by as he walked to and from work. “While I was recovering, my family would ask me, ‘Why don’t you call Simeran and go back to Little India?’ I wanted to,” Yoakum says, “but I felt ashamed.”
Eventually, Baidwan found him. “He ended up coming…
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