Giving A Home For Christmas - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Giving A Home For Christmas

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There is no way to measure how many people are homeless in the U.S.

Yet, they live among us, and some are able to hide the fact they don't have a place to call home.

Organizers of the "I'll Be Home for Christmas Project" say shelters are full.

Their goal is to get these homeless families into adequate housing.

To protect the identity of the family they're helping, we've identified the organizer as Santa Claus.

"We're going to pick up the children and the mom and they're going to be in this apartment for Christmas," says Santa Claus.

It's an apartment all ready to replace the motel room one family has been living in since September, after their house was condemned. It's completely furnished and ready for Christmas dinner.

"Just to have a modest small apartment, would be a tremendous uplift to the people to have adequate housing," says Claus.

Santa's wife and a local minister set up the "I'll be home for Christmas bank account at Bank Orion to accept donations. They've collected money and furnishings to make this apartment a home. They want to do the same for five other families living in motel rooms. Because Claus says the need is greater than we realize.

"We assume most everyone in our area has adequate housing but it's not limited to large cities where people are homeless and where families are in severe stress," says Claus.

They're not the only ones pitching in. The new neighbors also chose to lend a helping hand.

"I bring the trees and the blankets, and the bed," says Rashede Dieudonne. The 14-year-old will be one of the family's new neighbors. He helped put together the bunk bed and Christmas tree. He had fun, and says this is something he can do to help.

"If you're strong you need to help the poor people if they don't have food, you give some of your food to them," says Dieudonne.

"This season makes you more aware of the need to help others, and the spirit of Christmas, and the spirit of generosity to one another," says Claus.