Hope Restoration project changing lives on multiple fronts

KINSTON, Lenoir County – The Hope Restoration project, which started in 2016 by giving those having a hard time finding jobs a chance to work on home for those in need, has expanded exponentially sine then.

Last spring, the project had four homes slated for restoration. Now, they’ve restored 25, with more on the way.

Lawrence Wilson, who works for the project, said this job has been all about second chances.

“I started doing drugs, I didn’t have a place to stay, they gave me a place to stay at the Flint home to live in a fellowship program, the same as the church,” Wilson said.

Hope Restoration founder Chris Jenkins said stories like Wilson’s are why he started the program in the first place.

“We are trying to give employment support to folks who really need and have a hard a time being hired elsewhere,” he said.

It’s been a life-changer for those that end up living in the homes, too, like Jeff Richardson, who was one of the first to get a Hope Restoration home last year.

“That’s the American Dream – you raise your family, and you know you own a house and you know that is one of big goals you know to own a house,” Richardson said.

Jenkins started buying and restoring old homes in low-income neighborhoods in 2014 as a way of healing after his son’s death. The 17-year-old committed suicide after battling a substance abuse addiction.

He’s hopeful that this project can provide more stability for families and jobs for those on the path to recovery as a means of combating substance abuse. The goal is to be able to get to 45 homes and make the program financially self-sufficient.

“The more in the neighborhood that own their home the better things are like crime rates and health rates and scholastic and performance and performance of their children,” Jenkins said.

To watch video and for complete coverage, click here. 

Father of Addict Calls for Opioid Addiction Prevention, Treatment

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The opioid epidemic is not slowing down in eastern Carolina and now several agencies are coming together to find out how to stop it.

9 On Your Side talked with the father of an addict to find out what he think needs to change to potentially save lives.

“it was a long, long battle trying to save our son from the struggles of substance abuse,” said Chris Jenkins, Hope Restorations. “We had some successes and we had some failures.”

Jenkins lost his son after he battled an addiction to prescription medications.

“We spent a lot of time in emergency rooms and he would overdose and then we would be in the emergency room trying to find somewhere to send him to get some meaningful counseling or rehabilitation,” he explained, telling his story at a collaborative drug conference on Monday to dozens of people trying to end the opioid epidemic. “We ran into some good resources and we ran into some walls.”

Those walls are commonplace for many.

Jenkins said one of the biggest problems in North Carolina is not having enough resources for those who need them.

“We definitely need to get more services available and get education out to the community about what is available for treatment options,” explained Nikki Lewis, Program Supervisor, Port Human Services, who works with those battling drug addiction. She said things need to change.

According to the state Division of Public Health, a thousand people die each year in North Carolina from a prescription drug overdose.

One of the main issues is not enough resources are available for treatment and prevention.

“The one thing that would really be helpful is if there were enough people who knew about the system who could plug people with what they need into where the resources are,” said Jenkins, who’s now using his story to help others in similar situations.

Through Hope Restorations, he provides support to others recovering from addictions.

Port Human Services is working on getting more resources out into the community for those struggling with drug addiction. To find a location near you, click here.

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Group Seeks to Help Addicts Develop Trade Skills

KINSTON, NC (WITN) – Members of a ministry outreach program hosted a neighborhood cookout Saturday afternoon to meet and greet withe the community.

Sharon United Methodist Church Pastor Chris Jenkins founded “Hope Restorations” in 2015.

The program aims to restore the lives of men who have struggled with addiction by offering them a job restoring old houses.

The group held a social event outside the house they are currently rebuilding in Kinston.

Jenkins says the property was donated by a local doctor. The men have fixed the roof, floorboards, and several windows. He believes this provides the men with trade skills and work experience while also improving neighborhoods.

“They’re willing and eager to work, they’re great guys, they’ve just got a past…and we’ve all have a past we’d like to forget and so we’re trying to focus on who they’re becoming instead of what’s in their past and we need help getting that done,” Jenkins said.

The program was able to get off the ground thanks to a grant from the Duke Endowment.

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Kinston’s Hope Restorations Helps Recovering Addicts Develop New Skills

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – One organization is all about giving back to the community. Hope Restorations gives former addicts a way to earn money and it also gives low-income families the opportunity to live out of government housing.

Larry Driver is one of those people who say he’s lucky that he has an opportunity at a second chance

“I got in a car wreck in 2007, and I was put on pain pills and it goes downhill from there,” Larry Driver said.

After being addicted to pain killers for years, Driver said he’s finally back on track.

“I’m waking up in the morning with a purpose,” said Driver. “I’m coming to help someone in the future with a great home and a great energy bill and all of that.”

Thanks to Hope Restorations, Driver now has a full-time job working on remodeling a home.

“We are all just trying to invest in them and begin to open doors for them and, in the process, they are learning how to help others,” explained board member Chris Jenkins. He said the organization receives funding through the Duke Endowment grant.

Jenkins said it’s important to keep the men working when the grant is completed, “We hope to over the next few years to require about 30 houses so that would be our way to sustain revenue.”

Lenoir Community College is also assisting the organization with training. Driver said, after this house is completed in the next month or so, he’s looking for other opportunities to work in construction. He hopes others will give him a second chance as well.

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