After living in a one-room motel and a couple homeless shelters, Ashley House and her 11 kids finally have a roof over their heads, thanks to several community organizations and countless volunteers.
“I kept fighting and I keep praying,” said House after she toured her new five-bedroom home in Chicago Heights. “It was kinda rough. I had days when I wanted to give up, but I kept going cause I have kids. “
House was supposed to inherit her grandmother’s house after she passed away in 2017, but it ended up in foreclosure.
Luckily, Janelle Towne, founder of Home2Home, heard about House’s situation and started a GoFundMe campaign. “I noticed the funds kept growing and growing. People just wanted to hear her story.”
But, the momentum stopped after several homeless agencies told Towne they weren’t providing services because of the pandemic. That’s when CEDA of Cook County stepped in. The community action agency located the property for House and set up an affordable subsidized rent program.
“It’s one thing to get someone out of the situation they are in. At CEDA, our objective is to keep them out of that situation," said Harold Rice, CEDA president and CEO. "We are going to supply additional support for Ashley and her family."
The Chicago Heights home has a backyard deck and yard and came completely furnished thanks to Home2Home.
“Alone, none of our organizations could have made any of this happen, but together, look what we accomplished," Towne said. "It’s pretty amazing.”