Newburgh gives key to the city to ex-convict who has dedicated life to giving back

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NEWBURGH -

Newburgh officials on Tuesday awarded the key to the city to a former inmate who turned his life around to give back to his community.

Joe Alvarez, 50, says the only role model he had growing up was a drug dealer on the block. The former convict turned his life around and for the past six years has dedicated it to giving back as the founder of the community outreach group "We are Newburgh."

Alvarez is now a father and grandfather with two jobs, but finds time to host annual community barbecues, Easter egg hunts, back-to-school bookbag giveaways and more – all of it for free.

"Working together is the answer. Trying to do that one-man-band, that don't work. I have over 90 volunteers,” he says.

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