Man who overcomes addiction and homelessness granted new car - | WBTV Charlotte

Man who overcomes addiction and homelessness granted new car

Kristi O'Connor | WBTV Kristi O'Connor | WBTV
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Harry Jennings has a success story you don't hear very often. It took him a decade to overcome adversity, but his community noticed. Tuesday he was given a gift he never dreamed of having.

“If you only know what I’m feeling right now,” Jennings said.

Jennings has a checkered past, he spent ten years battling drug addiction and homelessness.

“The reason it was so hard for me was because it was always in my face,” Jennings described his battle with drugs.

After serving time in prison after selling drugs, Jennings said something changed.

“Ever since then, with the help of God, it seems like my life has just turned around,” Jennings said.

He had been going to the ROC, Renew Our Community, to get help for years. Executive Director Bruce McKagen said they did not have a lot of trust in him at the time, because he had stolen, lied and did not use them for the right reasons before.

But overtime, Jennings went to Keystone Drug Services on his own, slowly trying to earn back their trust.

“He started leaving drug tests on my desk, I never saw him, but the negative results were always there and I started wondering if they were real,” McKagen said.

To his surprise, Jennings recovery was real this time. Six years later, he no longer struggles with drug addiction and is a supervisor at ROC, helping people who struggle with similar challenges as he did.

As he’s built a new life, he has not had access to a car to get him to and from work, or to transport his family. Tuesday, that all changed.

Caliber Collision and State Farm partnered to restore a Nissan Altima and donate it to Jennings as part of its Recycled Rids program.

“I just can’t believe this, it’s mine, all mine,” Jennings said.

Technicians at Career Collision spent about 100 hours of volunteer time restoring the Altima for Jennings.

“To use my expertise to help someone else is just awesome,” Technician Robbie Hammond said.

Jennings says he plans to take the car home to surprise his girlfriend and 2-year-old daughter. He says he wants to continue sharing his story and helping others overcome their addiction.

“There hope, if you believe in God there is always hope,” Jennings said. 

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