Former homeless man spends first Thanksgiving in a real home - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Former homeless man spends first Thanksgiving in a real home

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DUNLAP, TN (WRCB) - A Sequatchie County man says he has a lot to be thankful for this year. After years of being homeless, it's Michael Blevins' first holiday with a permanent roof over his head.

Blevins hopes his story can help somebody else find a way off the street.

"I really care about the homeless community today," he said. "I know where they're at."

Homelessness is a life Blevins knows firsthand. He was homeless in Chattanooga for seven years -- until three months ago.

"This is my first Thanksgiving and this will be my first Christmas off the streets," Blevins said, sitting on a couch inside his Dunlap home.

He said this Thanksgiving is extra meaningful.

"I'm not out in the cold," said Blevins. "I'm really grateful for that."

Blevins moved to Chattanooga from Ohio after his dad died. He said he was looking for a new life. It ended up being a life consistently bouncing between motels, homeless camps, shelters -- and addiction.

"Drugs and alcohol ain't gonna take you anywhere," Blevins said. "It's gonna bring you right straight back to where you started."

Blevins said his turning point was graduating from a rehab program at the Chattanooga Rescue Mission. It strengthened his faith and got him sober. And it helped in finding his way to a real home with his new wife, Theresa.

They're thankful for the little things. Like their first Christmas tree.

"That tree only cost five dollars," Blevins said tearfully. "But it's a Christmas tree."

While Theresa stays busy cleaning houses, Blevins says his social security and disability benefits help pay the bills.

"I thank God for what I've got today," he sobbed. "It might not be much, but it's a roof over my head."

To learn more about the rehab program Blevins completed at the homeless shelter, click here.
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