A homeless mother-of-four and her children are finally getting a place to call their own.
Lamanda Brown, 29, and her children got the surprise of their lives when their new home in Detroit, Michigan, was fully furnished by the nonprofit Humble Design.
A heartwarming video captured the moment Lamanda and her kids, aged two, five, seven, and 11, walked into the home for the first time.
Tears were already streaming down Lamanda’s face as she walked through the front door and saw the Christmas tree in the living room, with wrapped gifts underneath.
Her eldest son Lamond put his hand over his mouth in shock as he saw the couches and the presents.
‘Oh my god we get a Christmas tree,’ Lamanda exclaimed to the Humble Design organizers who gave them the tour.
The organizers asked the kids to pick which seat would be theirs at the dinner table, before showing off the kitchen stocked with a Crock-Pot, microwave and toaster.
New dishes filled the cabinets and there was silverware waiting in the drawers, along with a baking sheet in the oven.
Then it came time to reveal the family’s new bedrooms.
‘Welcome to your room girls!’ the organizers excitedly yelled as Lamanda’s daughters took in the sight of their new bunk beds with green polka dot sheets and walls decorated with pictures of flowers.
Before revealing the boys’ bedroom, one of the organizers asked Lamond where he slept the night before.
‘I slept…on the floor,’ he replies.
‘On the floor?’ she asks. ‘And what’s it like sleeping on the floor?’
‘It’s…depressing,’ he admits.
‘And what were you hoping to see in your room?’ she asks.
‘A bed,’ he simply responds.
‘Is the bed the one thing you want to see?’ she asks, and he nods his head yes.
She then opens the door for him, and Lamond immediately covers his face as he begins to tear up at the sight of the bunk beds waiting for him.
The organizers wrap him up in a hug and he continues to bawl, Lamanda crying behind him.
Lamond then excitedly climbs up on the top bunk, wiping the tears from his face.
‘What do you think?’ one of the organizers asks.
‘It’s beautiful,’ he replies.
Lamanda and her children had been homeless for three years before a caseworker finally secured a space in public housing.
But Lamanda couldn’t afford any furniture other than one mattress and a few blankets.
That’s where Humble Designs came in.
The nonprofit decorates up to three public homes a week for families transitioning out of eight shelters in the area.
Humble Designs meets with each family to discuss the furniture and toys they dream of seeing in their new homes – and then tries to make those dreams come true.
‘If the boy wants superheroes, we give them a superhero bedroom,’ Humble Designs Director Julia Nagle told Inside Edition.
‘If the girls wants Frozen, we give them a Frozen bedroom.’
The Humble Designs team uses a warehouse full of donated goods to find items to stock each home.
Out of the 724 houses the nonprofit has renovated, only one family has fallen back into poverty.
Lamanda said her children have still not gotten over the shock of having their own rooms and beds.
‘I’m still trying to get them used to sleeping in their beds,’ she said.
‘From time to time, they’re still sleeping on the floor. When I see that I want to cry, because this is what I did.’
‘There were times I wanted to give up,’ she added. ‘But I kept my composure and moved on to the next situation. I do it for my babies.’
And Lamanda is already seeing just how much having a home of his own has affected Lamond, who had to help care for his siblings when they were homeless.
Lamanda said her eldest is now running for student council at his school, winning talent shows and earning better grades.
‘He’s hanging out with kids in the neighborhood, participating in different things,’ she said.
‘It makes me happy that he wants to be a kid again, instead of trying to be the big man.’
SOURCE: ANNETA KONSTANTINIDES