History of Southside Rides

For founder Dave Moore, Southside Rides Foundation, Inc. has been a lifetime in the making.  Dave’s triumph over challenges such as drugs and jail time has enabled him to inspire and reach out to a familiar, neglected population, bringing hope to the community one car at a time.

Dave was born in North Carolina in 1960, but spent the first fourteen years of his life with his mother in Bermuda.  After returning to the United States, Dave’s self-proclaimed “greed” and lack of a male role model involved him in the drug business.  “I was making a lot of money but didn’t care for who,” Dave recalls.

Dave earned a degree in Automotive Body Repair from Forsyth Technical Community College in 1995, and used his talent and passion for cars to run two car shops in Charlotte and Winston-Salem from 1995-2000.  However, his simultaneous involvement in drug dealing crippled his success and worried his family, especially his beloved niece Casandra.

Aware of Dave’s talent and charisma, Casandra constantly encouraged him to abandon drugs and use his talents to help misguided young people in the community.  “Teach them what you have to offer,” she urged.  As a very religious woman, Casandra often brought Dave to church and hoped that he would find inspiration to transform his life.

When Dave was incarcerated for drug dealing in 2002, he immediately began reconstructing his life for himself, his family, and especially Casandra. “She saw a vision I didn’t see,” Dave says.  Putting his faith in the Lord, Dave abandoned his old habits and started Southside Rides the day he was released from jail in 2004.

Dave launched Southside Rides at his home in Winston-Salem, but soon moved location to a friend’s car shop where he taught painting and basic auto-body to about two students per week.  Through hard work and “a lot of praying,” Dave began expanding his program and legally registered Southside Rides as a 501©3 organization in 2005.

Problems emerged in 2007, when the city shut down Southside Rides due to improper ventilation and facilities.  However, when the Winston-Salem Journal later published an article on Southside Rides, a group of local business men were inspired by Dave’s story and responded to his need for help.  They raised $18,000 for Southside Rides, enabling Dave to teach his classes through Forsyth Tech and move Southside Rides to its current location on Hope Street.

Though Casandra has passed away, Dave and his colleagues keep her dream alive by providing boundless hope, love, and opportunity to their students and the community.  “People will look up to you,” Dave says. “Whether you go North or South, doing good or bad, people will follow you.”