When Greg Dunk, known simply as “Dunk”, finally left prison in 2007 for the last time, he vowed never to go back. He recognized that he made some foolish choices. His adult life had been torn apart by drugs that had “owned” him. Raised by great parents and married to a loving Christian woman, he continued to struggle with relapses over the next 7 years. Today at age 55, he has been clean for 7 years and he is enormously grateful to God, his family, and new friends.
Because his wife Felicia was well connected to their church, Dunk joined programs there and also enrolled in the PORT Health program. He wanted to get better but it was a long struggle with relapses and rehabs. His wife of 20 years faithfully pulled him through. In 2014, he found Hope Restorations (referred to as Hope) and its director Pastor Chris Jenkins in his hometown. Hope Restorations exists to restore homes and restore people, including previously incarcerated men and women and those with substance abuse problems. It was a perfect fit for Dunk. He started as a construction worker at Hope making $8/hr for 4 hours a day, but most importantly he began to gain some self-respect. He jumped into their disciple-making and employment training programs. In 2015, he found true deliverance from his substance abuse when he let God take over his life. As he looks back, that’s when the tide turned for him. A transformed man began the transition to become the man God had made him to be, and the blessings started to roll in. He found a Christian mentor at Hope, Pastor Tim Chase. Soon Dunk was promoted to Crew Leader, and before long to Program Coordinator. Hope supported his training to become a Certified Peer Supporter and to enroll in Lenoir Community College’s Human Services degree program. Dunk started a program called Hope in Recovery, a community program for substance abusers that he continues to lead today.
Soon, Dunk started looking for a bigger challenge—to help more people more of the time. He was hired on part-time with the local homeless shelter as the weekend manager. A year and a half later he became the full-time Director. Dunk has worked tirelessly to provide more services to his clients. People in need come to Dunk, “I mentor them. I talk to them and let them know I’ve been through a lot of the same things, and that helps. Reflecting on his life journey, Dunk gives praise to God first. He is thankful for the structure his parents provided as he grew up. Speaking about his prison stints, he says “They arrested me, but God rescued me there.” Today he’s
closely involved with his church, his wife, and their four children. But Dunk adds with remorse and transparency, “Addiction is a family thing.” He believes that you can’t recover without strong support because “When you stop loving yourself, you need someone to love you.” Now it’s Dunk’s mission and passion to love others, especially those who are struggling because of their life choices.
Written by Sandra Hardee, NC-CURE Executive Director