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Gardner-White Furnishes apartment for previously homeless family

Posted at 5:39 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 17:39:08-05

OAK PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — When a single mom of two young kids fell on hard times, she found herself homeless.

Today, Arlisa Hemphill moved her family into a home in Oak Park that is fully furnished, thanks to Gardner White. They haven’t a home of their own in nearly a year.

“It was frustrating. It was hard. It got depressing.”

Arlisa had a job as a home aide but couldn’t keep it because the overnight hours we’re tough to work without reliable and affordable child care for her three-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.

This comes after the father of her child died, leaving her to take care of the family on her own.

“I didn’t have anywhere to go,” she explained. “It just got bad because I wasn’t able to catch up on my bills.”

In January, Arlisa became homeless. She turned to Lighthouse. Russ Russell is chief development officer of the organization.

“There are 2,243 children in Oakland County that are homeless,” he said.

After months of saving up, Lighthouse helped Arlisa move into this apartment in Oak Park.

“New scenery, new people, the vibe is different. I love it,” Arlisa said.

Gardner-White pitched in, furnishing her new apartment.

Russ explained, “We can move people into homes but without furniture, it’s very tough.”

We were there when crews moved her in and put the furniture together. Now, Arlisa has a home in time for the holidays.

She has this advice for anyone who finds themselves on hard times.

“Stay strong and don’t wait until you’re down to your last where you can’t really call on anybody. The resources are there.”

Russ added, “Her love for her kids is a beautiful thing and she’s making sure those kids are taken care of.”

Arlisa is now working on a Bachelors of Science degree to become a nurse.

If you would like to donate to Lighthouse, go to: https://lighthousemi.org/