BARNESVILLE, Ga. - A veteran in Barnesville has a newly renovated home after residents learned he was sleeping in his car to stay warm. All the work was done by volunteers and paid for with donations.
Volunteers were finishing up the last-minute details on John Greene's home on Wednesday. It is a family home, where the veteran was born, but over the years it fell into disrepair with termites in the walls, a leaky roof, and very drafty.
"Some nights I would just sleep in my car," said Greene.
Eddie Felton, who works with veterans, heard about Greene sleeping in a car.
"My wife and I decided one night to come downtown and it was cold. He was sleeping in the car with the engine running. I went and knocked on the window and said ‘Mr. Greene, you can’t do this. If you have a pinhole, carbon monoxide will kill you,’" said Felton.
Felton sprang into action. He reached out to American Legion Post 516 in McDonough.
"In two days here, surveying [the] house, determining what needed to be done," said Felton.
Countless volunteers jumped into help, but they just didn't have enough money. That was until the Home Depot in Thomaston stepped in, providing nearly $25,000 from the Home Depot Foundation.
They began work but ran into more and more issues.
"We said, ‘We're going to make this happen’ and no one says ‘No, let’s just give up.’ Everyone was determined to see it through," said Felton.
So they've worked six, sometimes seven days a week, 10 hours a day, to get Greene out of this bad situation, a situation in which Felton said he should have never been.
"You have a veteran that served his country and he's living in his car. He's living in the condition his home was in. There's no excuse for that. It's not that people didn't know, they did know. Greene lived here his whole life," said Felton.
Greene has pieces of his old home incorporated in the new and said he will never forget the kindness he's been shown.
"Just wonderful and grateful. Thankful to the Lord they came," said Greene.
Anyone who wishes to help can donate at gofundme.com/m9ddm-helping-a-hero.