My Life Changed
Cuban native living in Dillsburg says United Way funded program 'changed my life'
Alexi Pina was a single father running a box truck business when he lost everything. He turned to a program funded by United Way of York County's Impact Fund, which offered him food and support - and a chance to start his life over.
WRITTEN BY: RECBECCA HANLON
"l'm very grateful to New Hope and United way," Alexi Pina says. "Now. I do what I can to give back."
Alexi Pina can remember the pit in his stomach the day he realized he couldn't do it on his own anymore.
It was 2017, and the single father was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Dillsburg. He had spent the past year watching his life crumble. He lost his box truck business. He couldn't keep up with the multi-unit apartments he managed as a landlord. He was just barely bankrupt when he found New Hope Ministries, a social services agency that receives funding from the United Way of York County Impact Fund.
"I walked through their doors and was welcomed with open arms," Alexi says. "They gave us food, they gave me a car to get around in, and they changed my life." It wasn't just Alexi's basic needs that New Hope Ministries helped to fulfill. The Cuban native, who moved to Pennsylvania in 2000, knew he needed to rebuild his life.
Wanting to get back into the transportation industry, Alexi enrolled in a three-month program to get his CDL. The workforce development program is part of New Hope's Economic Stability Centers, which are supported by the United Way of York County Impact Fund.
"That program saved me," Alexi says. "I had a small retail job to get by, but I knew I didn't want to be on assistance programs forever. I had to get back to making the kind of money that supported my family."
A life on the road
Alexi admits he's "got a lot of plans."
He works most days from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., picking up containers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. He enjoys the adventurous nature of his job and looks forward to visiting new places and meeting new people.
But Alexi is also looking to the future. He's in his company's lease program so he can one day own his own truck.
Once he has the title for the vehicle, he could make a six-figure income. He could move out of his apartment and afford a nice home for himself and his two boys, both of whom are young adults.
"I'm very grateful to New Hope and United Way," he says. "Now, I do what I can to give back. Once I'm making good money, I'm going to sponsor the $5,000 for someone else to get their CDL. I've seen how it can change someone's life."