Colorado car club launches fundraiser, finds new job for veteran found living in storage unit

Posted at 8:24 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 22:24:31-04

ARVADA, Colo. -- No longer will Chris Cline have to return home to a cold, dark storage unit. No longer will he have to work as an overnight security guard hardly able to pay his bills. Thanks to scores of Denver7 viewers, he has a new job and is on a path to long-term sustainability.

The Colorado Dodge Challengers Club lives by a simple principle: 'Go big or go home.'

The club members know power can be addictive, especially as they rev the engines of their Dodge Challengers.

"707," Christine McClatchey says of the horsepower on her new Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

It looks and, in part, sounds like a jet engine.

"Many times it does feel that way, yes," she said.

Though she adores the vehicle, which she nicknamed "The Duckanator," she's put a different kind of power into overdrive through the club.

"We are obviously huge supporters of military veterans and that has a very obvious segue into law enforcement as well," McClatchey said.

In the last year and a half, the club began giving back to the community.

Their first project was a fundraiser they held in the name of Jaimie Jursevics, a Colorado state trooper who died in the line of duty in 2015.

"That is actually cut from her uniform," McClatchey said of a patch she framed and placed on a wall inside her home.

She said Jursevics's family gave her the patch as a way to express gratitude for the fundraiser.

The club has also hosted other fundraisers in recent months for various causes and organizations such as a local children's hospital.

Through their philanthropic efforts, they decided to assist Chris Cline after seeing his story on Denver7.

One of the club members gave him a place to stay for free. Then, other club members launched a GoFundMe online fundraiser to try to help him pay down outstanding debts and fund various needs he put off for the last few years -- including veterinary care for his dog, Anywyn, and vehicle maintenance.

For as much power as they have in their vehicles, she agrees that they've found a greater sense of power in trying to make a difference.

"I want this to be right for him going forward and our whole club does," McClatchey said.

Cline lands new job 

Through the roughly 750 car club members, Cline connected with Tiffany Jackson, who leads Compass Management and manages roughly a dozen properties.

"They said, 'Would you be interested in interviewing with her,' and I said, 'Of course,'" he said.

"When I founded this company, when I launched this company, a big part of my business plan was to hire vets," Jackson said.

She had never met Cline, but she heard of his living situation in the storage unit and wanted to help.

Jackson said Cline, and other veterans like him, would fit her company well.

"They learn organization, they learn facilities, they learn distribution, they learn structure," she said. "[They have] hard work, work ethic," she said.

Beginning Monday, Cline will assist her in maintaining all of her properties.

Cline will leave behind the overnight security job he held for roughly five years. Instead, he'll have better hours and comfortably better pay with Compass.

Jackson said he'll also have room to grow in his new job.

"I'm excited about where the company can go with him in place," she said.

Eventually, once Cline is in his new gig, he'll find a new place of his own to call home.

"Once I have that, it's just a matter of getting used to a new lifestyle, a new place anyway -- and living like a normal person," he laughed. "They're giving me more than I could have ever hoped, honestly."


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