On a late night in April of 2011, George Black was shot in the throat in front of Hillcrest Apartments on Clarendon St. in Durham, N.C. He remained alone at the scene for almost half an hour before a young girl living in the apartment complex noticed him and told her mother who then called 911. After spending much time in the intensive care unit at Duke Medical Center, George was told he was paralyzed from the chest down. The bullet still remains in his body today.
After undergoing multiple surgeries and enduring several weeks of medical treatment, during which time he was transferred from Duke medical facilities to UNC-Chapel Hill Memorial Hospital, George was eventually released and was taken in by a family with a unique story of their own.
In February of 2012 Jonathan and Leah Wilson-Hartgrove took George home with them the day he was released from the hospital and he has lived with them since. The couple is a part of a community in Durham into which people are welcomed as house "guests" when they have no where else to live. The community works together to provide food and household items for every resident.
George met Jonathan and Leah in 2004 through his younger brother, Alvin, who started living in their home while he was still in high school. He kept up with the couple over the years and forged a loving relationship with them as well as their two children, J'Michael, 8, and Nora, 2, before he became a community guest.
"Leah and Jonathan," George said, "they're like the best family members you could have." George faces an uncertain future, however, the side effects of his situation are steadily improving. He trusts that God put him in the place he is now for a reason and he wants to use his life experiences to help young members of the community avoid the path he once traveled.