AUBURN (CBS13) — An Auburn business went the extra mile on Tuesday, giving a gift that’s changing a woman’s life and helping the mother of six get back on her feet.
It’s a program where an insurance company, a car repair chain and the local probation department worked together, each using their expertise.
“Today is about enhancing somebody’s life, somebody who’s had a tough road and is working to get back on their feet.” Caliber Collision’s Larry Lane says today.
That somebody is Sacramento-area resident Selena Owen.
“I’ve been living an addicted lifestyle for about 20 years; it was really hard to get out of that lifestyle. I have tried many times to do it on my own,” she said.
After showing significant progress at the New Leaf Treatment Center and in the Placer County Wraparound program that connects families with services, Owen learned she’d been chosen to receive a 2014 Toyota Sienna. She couldn’t believe it.
“You’ve been chosen to receive a van, and I was like what?! I started crying.”
The vehicle has been spruced up to look brand new from Auburn’s Caliber Collision and Allstate, as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides Program.
According to Allstate’s William Witzke, “This particular vehicle was a theft recovery.”
The program also works with local agencies like the Placer County Probation Department to choose candidates.
“It was exciting just to know that her life was going to change, this is going to make such a positive impact for her and her kids,” says probation officer Lacy Hart.
With six children ranging in age from 18 months to 18 years old, Owen says she’s struggled with recovery and homelessness. Last March she says she was determined to stop the cycle.
“I was just tired of living the way I was living, and I wanted my children back, and I wanted my life back.”
Now with new wheels and a new lease on life she feels like she’s in the driver’s seat, in more ways than one.
“It’s been hard to get and keep employment without a vehicle, so this is really going to help. I’m just amazed at all the support I’ve been given.”
The Recycled Ride program puts on more than 60 events like this across the country every year, helping veterans and others in need.