“If we can pull together as people, we could make this city shine like no other,” says Kanila, who moved into SECU The Rise on Clanton earlier this year. One of his favorite things about having a home again is being able to cook for himself. A recent evening found him frying pork chops and boiling green beans in the building’s community kitchen.
Stable housing is helping him take care of his health. He’s battling a number of physical and mental ailments, including neuropathy, which limits his ability to work. Kanila has fond memories of the days before he got sick, when he helped construct a dormitory on the campus of East Carolina University.
Promoted to supervisor, he managed a crew as they installed floors, windows and gutters. They laid bricks and poured concrete. But when he was working for the same company on a project in the Triangle, he passed out on the job from low blood sugar and was told workplace safety regulations would prohibit his return. After that, he went through a rough time. But now he’s turned a corner.
“This is my fresh start,” he says. “But you’ve got to do your part – show you’re putting forth the effort.”
He has one main goal for 2023: learning how to be patient, in the same way he knows God has been patient with him. “I got goals, I got plans, all I need is a little luck and I’m there,” he says.