Ultra XS Paint Booth a “Wow Factor” for Ministry Helping At-Risk Teens

The troubled youth that JB Baldridge encounters — most residing in a juvenile detention center — “have been told their life is ruined,” he said.

Baldridge refuses to believe that. He refuses to listen to all the reasons why these kids cannot be helped. When he looks at them, he sees only promise and potential.

“Their life can absolutely be restored,” said Baldridge, president of the Crossover Restoration Foundation, a charitable ministry in Fort Worth, Texas. “My job is to show them, through loving these kids, how that is possible.”

Targeting junior high and high school students, the Crossover Restoration Foundation aims to provide an avenue for at-risk teenagers to turn around their lives. The after-school program promotes educational and moral development, by capitalizing on what Baldridge calls “a common denominator in kids we come across, in all ages and all races — a love of cars and trucks.”

The past seven years, Baldridge has worked to get the Crossover Restoration Foundation up and running. He finally is nearing that point, thanks to the addition of an Ultra XS Paint Booth from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) and local distributor Beacon Equipment Resources.

For prospective donors who tour the Crossover Restoration Foundation’s new facility, the paint booth “has such a wow factor,” Baldridge said. “I turn the lights on. I put them inside the booth. I close the doors. I even turn on the intake and exhaust to give them a feel of what these kids are going to experience. And they are absolutely blown away.”

Resembling an internship, teenagers at the Crossover Restoration Foundation — with a mission of “Restoring Lives, One Car at a Time” — will learn a range of automotive repair skills, including paint, body, mechanical, electrical, restoration and fabrication. They will work bumper-to-bumper on vehicles, from minor restoration jobs to complete, frame-off restorations. Baldridge’s hope is that the program helps kids stay out of trouble, while taking the initial steps toward a career in the automotive industry.

“Let’s develop life skills,” Baldridge said. “Some area dealerships who are interested in our program are saying, ‘When these kids reach a certain age or ability, bring them to us.’ We are looking to help them get jobs, to be good citizens. We do not want to wait until it is too late for some of them.”

A sparkling Ultra XS Paint Booth is not only a boon for the Crossover Restoration Foundation when seeking funding from businesses and churches, it’s an essential learning ground for the kids Baldridge knows can be saved.

“People can see that we’re serious, that we’re not playing around,” he said. “We want state-of-the-art equipment. We want the very best for these kids. I don’t want these kids to come to an old, dusty, junky place. I want them to know that we care about them.”

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