The Harrleson Center truly is a place where NEEDS ARE MET, DREAMS ARE FOSTERED & HOPE ABOUNDS, and these stories are proof of that. Below are stories of hope of individuals and families who have been served through the Harrelson Center.
Jeffrey Autry and his wife lost everything in Hurricane Florence. The river near their rented mobile home rose too high and too fast for them to do anything but throw a few essential and two chihuahuas into their van and drive to high ground. The 9-foot flood took three weeks to recede before the FEMA inspector could get in and declare their home a total loss. Since the storm, the couple has been sofa-surfing with friends and family, staying in shelters or motels, or living in the van. Mr. Autry, a welder and plumber, says he's been through hard times before and always been able to regroup and come out strong but this time his best wasn't good enough.
HH Volunteer Kim Boyce says not knowing of available resources or what questions to ask often leads to situations like the Autrys'. Help Hub was able to provide a gas card and funding to repair safety issues with the van. Furthermore, Mr. Autry was referred to First Fruit Ministries and the Back at Home Program for displaced hurricane survivors. Additional guidance was given for employment, food and dental resources. We will see the Autrys' through their devastating loss and after they are strengthened by the opportunities available through our nonprofit network.
The Harrelson Center Help Hub gave Brian a new tent in February because his current tent had holes in it. Brian has been clean for two months, is continuing to work on his recovery, and is seeking employment. Although living in a tent is not ideal, some negative choices from the past are making that a temporary solution for housing. He is planning to enter the StepUp Wilmington program here at the Harrelson Center. The Help Hub also made arrangements for Brian to receive an eye exam and glasses from our community partner, Dr. Eddie Weaver at Wilmington Optometry.
Tommy Jordan, our guest speaker at our 2017 Thankful Hearts Luncheon, has had life changing experiences with multiple Partners at the Harrelson Center. Tommy graduated from Phoenix Hometown Hires program (now StepUp Wilmington) and was actively seeking full time employment after a gap in employment and confidence. He has since secured full time employment with Hollingsworth Cabinetry and is enrolled at Cape Fear Community College to complete his high school education. He has longer term goals of running his own mobile detailing business and buying his first home.
The Pettis family has seen many struggles. They were recently homeless with their 3 kids and almost had their kids taken away, when a church provided a hotel for them for 2 weeks. They finally got approved for special housing but they couldn't afford the deposit for their bills and moved in with nothing but air mattresses and clothes.The Harrelson Center Help Hub was able to pay their deposits for their bills so that they can have electricity and also supplied furniture and necessary house supplies (such as plates, silverware etc.). We also connected them to Park Sterling Bank who provided the Pettis family children with uniforms and Christmas presents. Listen to their full story here.