For the last five years, Gary and Evie Pettyjohn have been opening up their apartment to those in need.
“They come beating on my door!” said Gary.
Why you ask?
“Because that book right there (Bible), that book says so, they might be knockfing on my door, that might be the last hope they have.”
“And as you can see, I got plenty of dishes, so if they want to come in, sit down and eat, they can eat here too,” said Evie.
Through donations and out-of-pocket purchases, Gary and Evie give out clothing to those in need and provide a space for them to feel safe. A judgment-free zone.
They even have saved lives. Since September, Gary saved three people from overdoses in the area.
“I was cooking out. They came up and said someone was overdosed down here. I didn’t even bother my grill, I went down there, Narcan’ed them, made sure they were okay. I didn’t give them my name, didn’t give them nothing, came back up to finish my barbeque,” said Gary.
Gary is a retired veteran who is able to get Narcan for free, but says anyone can do the same. With a short training session, people can pick up Narcan at the health department free of charge.
“And I’m telling you what, it’s a miracle to see them totally dead and a little prayer and squirt and they’ve seen Christmas. Their kids had dad, their kids had mom there,” said Gary.
Gary and Evie say it’s gratifying to be able to give someone another chance at life, to lift them up when they’re down. They say there isn’t enough of that in this world.
If you’d like to join the Pettyjohns mission, you can donate clothing and toys to the Family Resource Center at Marcum Terrace. You can call to setup up a drop off time at (844) 508-6063.