Since the beginning of March, renovations have been underway at the Helpself Education Center at 215 N Montgomery Street in Trenton. Lawrence Boyd, Executive Director of HelpSelf, had just run into HomeDepot to grab a key for his home when he spotted the P&K Contracting truck.
“I ran into Home Depot, and I ended up seeing a P&K development truck. I saw somebody in the passenger side, so I didn’t stop. I just said, oh, so they do this per their logo on their truck,” Boyd said, “I come back out, the truck is still there. So I said, well, let me take the number down.”
As Boyd jotted down the number for the contactors to call later, Paul Giles, the company owner, jumped out of the car to greet him. “I was in the truck,” Giles said, “I saw him in the rearview mirror, and my wife says, oh, that’s the pastor. He does a lot for the (Trenton) community… I jumped out of the truck; I say, I want to help this guy.”
Since then, the pair have teamed up for the renovations, including repainting the building, building a staircase, and fixing the gutters. “We’ve been working since then to get this property looking how it is supposed to look,” Giles said.
Giles is a convicted felon who built his contracting company from the ground up after getting out of prison. Now, he works across the city of Trenton, helping residents rebuild their homes. “I want to give back to the community,” Giles said, “I used to be a part of the problem… I’m trying to give back. I love to help people because the more you give, the more you get.”
He said his work with Boyd had brought him closer to the community. “Actually, I call the pastor at least three or four times a day; I went from business to now. We’re basically friends,” Giles said.
The new renovation to the Helpself center will double the number of kids the learning can accommodate. Adding the second floor will give the facility a breath of fresh air. Pastor Janet Campbell works with Boyd and is excited to see the new renovations. “I love it. I think it’s awesome. I think it’s phenomenal. I think it’s great,” Pastor Campbell said. She explained that the renovations would help with the school, food drives, and helping the community. “We are here to help, we are giving people, and we love to help. We love to give free.”
“The renovations will affect the community because we will have a space a safe space for them to come in, either children and adults,” Natasha Boyd, Rev. Boyd’s wife, explained, “We will be having programs for adults, we will be having workshops for adults. And also we’ll be having dinners Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, a lot of different kinds of events.”
Rev. Boyd is excited to see the city grow as it grows. “We’re in the city of Trenton, a whole lot that goes on in any city, big or small, any township great or small. But one thing I can say about this area is that I appreciate this area,” Boyd said.
To learn more about The HelpSelf center, head over to https://www.helpself.org/ and check out this TrentonDaily article below to learn more about Boyd and his work within the city.