Making a difference one detail at a time

There's a bargain car-wash and detailing business that opened at two locations this year in Providence, started by a man who used to be in trouble with the law. He's trying to make a difference by helping out and hiring others who had gone down the same road as he had before.

While Carlos Ocasio, owner of C&O Auto Wash and Detail, was offsite picking up wholesale supplies for the businesses when NBC 10 showed up Thursday, 22-year-old manager Osvaldo Negron said he'd talk.

"I'm finally doing something positive. I'm seeing the happy come out in me. It's definitely good for my conscience," Negron said.

Negron admits to stealing cars, breaking and entering, getting caught, and spending time in prison.

"Always in the corner, cops watching. I'm tired of people watching over me, you know?" he said.

Now, with four kids of his own, he's taking responsibility, trying to be a father figure, trying not to be how he used to be.

Most of the employees of C&O Auto Wash and Auto Detailing businesses - with locations at 1304 Eddy St. and 1326 Westminster St. -- have been in trouble too.

Ocasio hires them to give them a second chance, like Jordan Alves, who will be 21 this summer.

Alves said he spent five years in juvenile detention, caught with a gun at age 13.

"Horrible," Alves said of the experience. "But now that I'm free, I'd like to stay that way, stay out of trouble, and just try to do the right thing with myself, something positive. I'm having fun while I'm doing it, keeps me off the streets."

At $8 a hand wash, $15 total with the interior, $80 for full detail, they're making legitimate money.

"I'm doing it for the sake (of my) kids and my mother. Seeing my mom and my family being hurt all the time, going up to visit (me in prison). I'm watching my kids' birthdays pass by, Christmas, you know, all the holidays. I'm not in to that no more," Negron said.

They all say they've learned their lessons and want to help others find that there is an alternative to a life of crime and the streets, showing through hard work, the cycle can be broken, one detailing job at a time.