PLAINFIELD, Ind. -- It is such an exciting feeling to wake up as a kid in your home on Christmas morning. Some Hoosier families who were once homeless get to experience that feeling for the first time this year.
One family was living in a motel for months. Now, they can call an apartment in Plainfield home. To them, this is the best present they could ask for.
"It is a miracle that we have had everything in place almost like it perfectly fit to make this happen right now," said Matthew Woolard.
Woolard and his girlfriend Jazmyn Lake just moved into their new apartment on Friday. Their two girls now have their own room. They said they are thrilled to have a home before the holidays.
The motel they were staying in did not have a place for them to cook or enjoy a family dinner.
Their fortunes changed when they met folks at Family Promise of Hendricks County. The group provides services to prevent homelessness in their community.
"It is a function of not enough affordable housing in our community. And again, it is not substance abuse or mental health. It is truly a housing crisis we have in central Indiana," said Julie Randall, executive director of Family Promise of Hendricks County.
The affordable housing predicament is forcing some children and parents to live at their center, motels or in a car. This month, they have placed nine families in a house or apartment.
"It's humbling," Randall said. "It keeps it all really in perspective for you. There are so many struggles people do not realize are happening in our community."
Now, Woolard, Lake and the girls can wake up in their own place on Christmas morning.
"We were not able to do that for the past couple of years, so this year it is going to be such a blessing for the girls," Lake said.
In addition to the apartment, they also have a new car. It was donated by the community so that Woolard no longer has to walk to work.
They are calling these blessings a Christmas miracle.
"We are never going to take nothing for granted because we don’t, we haven’t, we can’t. We can’t afford it," Woolard said.
Family Promise of Hendricks County has been operating for five years. So far this year, Randall said they have helped more than 70 families end their homelessness.