Dave Moore

Some people run from ex-convicts but Dave Moore sets a new precedent–he makes people want to shake his hand or maybe even give him a hug.  Moore is “not no angel” but is recognized by his students at Southside Rides and community members alike as a friend, mentor, and father figure.

Dave Moore was born in the United States but moved to Bermuda with his mother before turning one.  While residing in Bermuda, Dave questioned the love and qualities of a father as he dealt with the absence of his own father.  At age 14, he moved to Winston-Salem, NC where his interests were directed to automobiles, drugs, alcohol, and women.

Around age 20, while looking in on his sleeping children, Dave realized his life needed a change so he registered at Forsyth Technical College and majored in automobile body repair.  Moore opened two successful repair shops in Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

A few of the shops’ customers were drug dealers and soon sucked Dave into their ring, a tragic relapse for this charismatic African-American male.  “The revenue that drugs created was too good to pass up and I simply got greedy,” he recalls.  Moore later paid the price in prison but, while there, he began to put his faith in God and seek a better life.

A married man of 26 years, Dave Moore now directs Southside Rides which is built on inspirations evoked by his late, yet beloved niece, Casandra, and “trying to make this community a safer place.”  His niece encouraged Dave to change his life around and accept the Lord.  She also bestowed upon Dave a vision to help disenfranchised youths succeed in life when nobody else would give them a chance.  “A lot of choices I make are due to her,” Dave says about Cassandra’s tremendous impact on his life.

Through Southside Rides, Dave has taught body work and custom painting to 300-400 students, male and female, ages 17-50, and has inspired them to reform their lives. Though Dave’s height and stocky build may be intimidating, his casual attire and easy-going attitude connect him with his students.  Through his expert skills, his self-identification as a “car freak,” and his inspirational story, he helps troubled young people stay off the streets by teaching them a useful trade.

When not teaching or working on a car, Dave can be found talking to students on the phone, exploring his faith in God, or watching cowboy movies.  A solid rock for his students, he believes that “young folks need positive male role models and it can’t always be their fathers.”  He learned this lesson first-hand as a child.  Dave Moore’s life “is about helping people and doing all [he] can to make the world a better place.” Dave didn’t start this organization for the money or notoriety; he started it because he was once in the same situation as his students.  Dave Moore exposes his mentees to a level of compassion and caring they probably have never seen, because in his mind, “Everybody needs to love somebody.”