High Point Community Against Violence turns criminals to carpenters

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Roy Autry feels a sense of accomplishment making an honest living and helping people who could really use a hand.

“We basically help people that own their own homes that can't afford to go out and have people to go ahead and do it. They call the city,” he said.

Once he and others get the call, they work on repairing homes in High Point.

This kind of work is different for Autry.

He doesn’t hide the fact that he has a criminal past and lived what he calls the “street life.”

He wanted to change to be a better example for his granddaughter.

High Point Community Against Violence helped Autry take his life into a positive direction.

“The mission of High Point Community Against Violence is to reduce violent crime in High Point by directly engaging our violent crime offenders and giving them opportunity and at the same time telling them that what they've been doing in their past is wrong and it's time to change,” Executive Director Jim Summey said.

HPCAV uses carpentry to bring out the talent already inside former offenders.

“I know carpentry now and I know it well and I can do work for other people on the side,” participant Walter Pearson said.

Grant money from the High Point Community Foundation will allow HPCAV to provide additional outreach to get more people off the streets and into something productive.

“With this particular project, we do have a certain handful of people that we have—let's just put it this way, we've tried everything in the book and we want to put some very strict hard emphasis on some individuals, hopefully so they can get on and make it,” Summey said.

A strong emphasis will be on encouragement training.

The High Point Community Foundation provided a grant for $23,600.

HPCAV plans to use the funding for its additional outreach later this year.

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