GRAND HAVEN, MICH. — A man in Grand Haven down on his luck got a gift he says he'll never take for granted: a second chance.
JD Edgington has been waiting for life to give him a break. He quit his job two years ago as a firefighter in southwest Iowa, when his PTSD from a call where a 9-year-old boy died became too much to bear.
Then, he says that's when his drinking got out of control. One way or another he found himself living in West Michigan. He got sober after going to rehab back in October.
He was living out of his car. But those days are over.
“I’ve just been living this borderline life, of not knowing what to do. I just couldn’t get ahead.” JD Edgington said.
A simple question he asked in Grand Haven Informed, a community Facebook group, would change all that.
“I just asked if there were any showers in the area that were free and the cheapest laundromat,” Edgington said.
He got a whole lot more. Kimberly Niblick started it out, commenting he could come to her house. That wasn't an option, the $700 PT Cruiser JD limped around wouldn't make the drive to her house. He couldn't risk it breaking down, because he was sleeping in the back seat. JD says many people have offered help before, but it's never really worked out.
“Immediately I started backpedaling. Every time I’ve accepted help in the past, it’s gone south,” Edgington said.
But JD says Kimberly wasn't going to accept that. Within a few hours, her husband was offering JD a job in construction.
“Just the way she worded things. I don’t know what it was, I felt like I could trust her. It was like a mom and a best friend all at the same time,” Edgington said.
Finally, his second chance. He starts work Monday and is staying down in Indiana, where the job is.
“It’s good money. So I’m going to be going from living in my car... to I think he said they’re staying at a Hilton. There’s a pool, and a hot tub and everything,” Edgington said.
The acts of kindness don't end there. Adam Koss, who owns a used car lot, saw his post too. Friday, he gifted JD a 2007 Jeep.
“This is like, the newest, nicest car I’ve ever owned,” Edgington said.
And JD doesn't have to sleep in that car, either. Another kind person from the comments put him up in a hotel for the next few days, until he starts work Monday.
“Everybody in Grand Haven..I knew it was a nice town, I just didn’t know it was that nice,” Edgington said.