MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — For the last two years Freedom Fighting Missionaries has been helping formerly incarcerated individuals get back on their feet as they reenter society.
But 18 months ago, founder Kenny Robinson found a new challenge, helping a gun violence victim fight for survival.
What You Need To Know
Chris Coletrane was shot 13 times in March 2021 and after spending two months in the hospital, he found himself homeless
He got in touch with Kenny Robinson with Freedom Fighting Missionaries, which helped him navigate life as he recovered
Coletrane finally signed the lease on a new apartment Thursday in Charlotte
In March of 2021, Chris Coletrane was shot 13 times by an acquaintance with his daughter just feet away.
“It was very, very horrific,” Coletrane said. “I landed on the ground thinking that I was going to die.”
The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office says Coletrane was unarmed at the time.
He recovered and got back on his feet. But that’s when life threw him another hurdle.
“It was a struggle for me, you know, trying to get back to my regular self to also trying to find a place to go to heal,” Coletrane said. “At the time I didn't have any hope.”
The 26-year-old, who’d struggled with homelessness before, was unable to find a place to live again.
“I was calling these places, and they were telling me the wait is too long or that, you know, I had to be qualified and other things,” Coletrane said.
Then, he found the kindness of a stranger, Kenny Robinson, with Freedom Fighting Missionaries.
“We had an extended-stay hotel that we partnered with that had agreed to let him come to and provided a disability room for him at that time,” Robinson said.
Robinson says they had never taken a case like Coletrane’s on before by helping a victim, instead of a defendant. But after meeting him and learning of his desperation, they wanted to help.
And after more than a year of making calls, Coletrane finally moved into the first apartment he’s ever been able to call his own.
“I am very thankful and very fortunate to be standing here,” Coletrane said. “To be breathing and to actually, you know, moving forward, my life”
Robinson founded Freedom Fighting Missionaries in 2020.
Robinson says they are hoping to find more ways to help victims of gun violence with rehabilitation and recovery after the success of Coletrane.