Former homeless man turns life around

INDIANAPOLIS - He said he wouldn’t be alive if he didn’t get help, but today a former homeless man has turned his life around thanks to the United Way of Central Indiana.

James Dewar was homeless for three and a half years. Life on the street was hard and a church group found him living under a bridge in downtown Indianapolis.

The group visited Dewar every week, but one week, something unexpected happened -- he wasn’t there.

He was later found in his tent -- alone, sick and at the point of death. Rescuers rushed Dewar to the emergency room.

"They weren’t sure if he was going to make it. We went home and had our church pray and when we came back the next day, the room he was in was all taped up, and I thought that he had died. But the nurse said, 'No, it’s good news, he’s OK,'" church volunteer Christi Dutchess said.

Dutchess took it upon herself to reach out to the United Way and the Horizon House to get Dewar the help he needed.

"Without it, I would have been dead," Dewar said.

"He’s done a 180. He went from the streets and nearly dead to living independently and accessing the support he needs," Horizon House social worker Nicole Wesling said.

Thanks to the United Way and the Horizon House, Dewar now has a roof over his head and a place he can finally call home.

Dewar can now often be found growing plants at a local garden -- inspecting new life after seeing his own life begin to bloom again.

"Life is very good now," Dewar said. "I’m eternally grateful."

Watch "Live United 2014" on RTV6 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to see different ways United Way of Central Indiana helps improve lives and communities.

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