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Kinston group gets $550,000 grant to help restore homes

Hope founder Chris Jenkins said the group tries to help about 45-50 recovering addicts a year. The workers assist on the 32 rental properties that Hope owns. (Morgan Newell, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Hope Restorations Group in Kinston is not only helping to restore neighborhoods, it's also giving a second chance to those who may have been in trouble with the law before.

Sharon United Methodist Church has received a $550,000 grant in support of Hope Restorations Inc. The grant comes from The Duke Endowment and will be used to fund efforts to restore homes in neighborhoods in east Kinston. It also helps adults learn marketable skills and find better, permanent employment.

Hope founder Chris Jenkins said the group tries to help about 45-50 recovering addicts a year. The workers assist on the 32 rental properties that Hope owns. Jenkins said 21 of those are being rented today after being restored.

"It's a family atmosphere here you know," said Gregory Dunk, a program crew leader at one of the restoration sites. "We all try to help one another along the way because a lot of us guys here are guys that have been incarcerated or recovering addicts. We give them a chance to get back into this work flow."

Below is a press release with more information on the grant. Click the above video to learn more from NewsChannel 12's Morgan Newell.

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Hope Restorations Inc awarded $550,000 grant from The Duke Endowment

In support of Hope Restorations Inc., Sharon United Methodist Church has been awarded a $550,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to help fund its efforts to restore neighborhoods in east Kinston while helping adults learn marketable skills and find better, permanent employment.

Hope Restorations is a nonprofit social enterprise serving the eastern North Carolina community of Kinston with employment and support for adults recovering from addiction or incarceration. Founded in 2015, the nonprofit organization provides paid employment, training, and support to adults recovering from addiction or incarceration through acquiring deteriorating houses in declining neighborhoods, restoring them to modern energy-efficiency and safety standards, thus creating affordable housing and homeownership opportunities for lower-income families.

The Endowment's grant will be used to purchase much-needed building materials, tools, and equipment for renovation projects as well as provide wages and training for the organization's clients and employees over the next two years. "Our goal is to invest and reinvest over $3 million into Kinston and Lenoir County by 2022, noted Chris Jenkins, Hope Restoration's founder and executive pastor. "This generous grant is a wonderful step in that direction and will encourage others to help us achieve our goal. We're already witnessing life-changing impact as we strive to become a self-sustaining social enterprise, and over the next three years, we hope to have this unique model refined well enough to begin sharing and replicating it in other communities."

"Sharon United Methodist launched this ambitious effort to address critical challenges in its community," says Robb Webb, director of The Duke Endowment's Rural Church program area. "Today, Hope Restorations has grown into an effective rehabilitation program that fosters human, community and economic development. The men who go through the program claim a new future that includes the dignity of a good job; the families that move into the homes experience hope and come to understand that their neighbors care about them; the congregations develop real relationships with neighbors they may not ever otherwise encounter."

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.6 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

Hope Restorations offers "Tours with the Executive Pastor" most Tuesday mornings, giving those interested an opportunity to hear the whole story of how the organization began while seeing some of its work firsthand. Call the office to reserve your spot on the next tour. You can also watch video testimonials from some of Hope Restorations' employees and board members by visiting the website at http://www.hoperestorationsnc.org.

For more information on Hope Restorations Inc. or how you can support this community effort, please call Hernika Cannon at (252) 560-7507 ext. 101, or visit the website.

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