A Pasco County man is using his lessons learned of a tough road traveled yesterday to help those on a similar path now.

What You Need To Know

In Port Richey at Our Family Automotive, we met Ray Charles (and yes, he’s heard of the famous one.)

Inside, Ray and his mechanics were busy at work. It was a customer who wrote to Spectrum Bay News 9 and told us about Ray, his honesty and fairness and also his dedication to those who sometimes have to battle from day to day.

Ray’s business began about the same time as the pandemic - starting out as a mobile, "come to where you are operation" and finally this shop.

Ray also is there for any and all in the recovery community. He has walked in their shoes.

“As a teenager I struggled with addiction,” Charles said. “It was very real to me. It affected myself, my family, everyone around me.”

With time and the help of others, he was able to break free of that addiction.

His Facebook page is an open forum to those in recovery. And Ray himself is always available to help in any way he can, always remembering those who years ago were there for him.

“I’m just giving back really what the people before gave to me,” he said.

He’s a dad to young Benjamin and to daughter Dyxee.

Ray believes we all must find our purpose in life.

“I’m a mechanic and my shop gives me a job and gives me a way to feed my family. Reaching out to the community of those in recovery gives me a purpose.”