WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — On many weekday mornings Dave Moore can be found teaching lessons about life and cars to his latest group of students at his Winston-Salem auto body repair shop.
The teens, ranging in age from 14 to 19 years old, spend three mornings a week at Southside Rides as part of the Reclaiming Futures Juvenile Drug Court Program overseen by CenterPoint Human Services and Insight Human Services.
The program offers substance abuse services to youth entering the court system, which includes special summer activities to keep them focused.
Southside is one of the sites offering summer training, and though the program is new, it is familiar territory for Moore.
For several years now, Moore, the founder of Southside Rides Foundation, has opened his shop up to those in need of a second chance. Young men and women pass through his garage throughout the year as he works with the court system to get them community service hours and auto-body repair training or access to other career training opportunities.
He even offers customized training at the shop through a Forsyth Technical Community College program.
Six teens are participating in the summer program at Southside Rides. Moore said the program has been a success so far.
The teens begin their sessions with an hour of exercise at the nearby Better Body Training Facility. The owner is Henry Gray, who has a law enforcement career spanning 28 years. One of their trainers is Derrell Springs, a former gang member who has turned his life around.
After spending time at the gym, the teens come back to the shop for a class about auto body work and detailing.
“I think the world of Dave and his program,” said Kathi Perkins, system of care coordinator for CenterPoint and Reclaiming Futures treatment fellow.
Bryant Williams is a testament to Moore’s training. He was fresh from prison when he began participating in March 2011. With his record, Williams had a hard time finding a job.
“Now I’ve got a skill and a trade,” said Williams.
Williams said he never envisioned himself attending college, but thanks to what he learned at Southside, he is now a student at Forsyth Tech working on his degree in collision repair and refinishing.
He said of Southside: “It gives you a lot of doors to open up. It’s up to you. Are you gonna turn the knob or not?”
David Moore, head of SouthSide Rides Foundation, in his office on Hope Street in Winston-Salem, N.C. For several years, Moore has opened his shop up to those in need of a second chance.×
Dominic Moore, Bryant Williams, Tacayla Edwards, and Boris Miller watch as Chris Edwards buffs a car at SouthSide Rides in Winston-Salem, N.C.×