A single mother of four in Durham has her own vehicle for the first time in more than a decade thanks to people in the community lending a hand.
Annette James moved to Durham from New York about 10 months ago. Up until three months ago, she and her kids did not have a place to call home. Housing for New Hope, an agency aimed at preventing homelessness, helped her find a place to live.
The missing piece was a way to get around to her full-time job, school, the store and everywhere in between.
Housing for New Hope recommended James for Wheels4Hope through Durham Public Schools .
Wheels4Hope takes donated cars repaired by volunteers and places them back into the community by referral through agencies like Housing for New Hope.
The cars, which are usually valued between $2,500 and $4,000, are not given away, but instead sold for $500. The goal is to promote ownership and accountability.
"No more renting cars, which is very expensive. I can get back and forth to work. The kids can get to school. We can do extracurricular activities. It's like our time. We have a car. We don't have to depend on anybody for a ride. We have our own ride!" James said.
The donated car was repaired using a donation of $500 provided by the congregation of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Auto Pro To Call, a local garage, installed a new timing belt on the van.
"It was a long, hard struggle, but it was worth the wait," James said.
Wheels4Hope started helping people in Durham in October.
The agency wants to provide 25 vehicles to people in Durham by the end of the year. James' vehicle is the sixth so far.