Homeless family to get new, donated home

Community plans holiday surprise for family

HYATTSVILLE, MD (WUSA9) - A yellow moving truck loaded up furniture from a house in Hyattsville Friday afternoon.

As the sun started to set, it kept moving and stopping, picking up all kinds of donated items.

Mattresses, beds, couches, lamps, tables.

"This is the University Park [Elementary] community,” Devilan Cowherd said, “and as they say - this is how we roll.”

Cowherd works at the elementary school and that’s where she met the family who all of the donations are for.

It’s a family of seven, and they’ve been homeless for six months.

Cowherd said the father has multiple sclerosis, sickle cell and is confined to a wheelchair. When they lost their home, she said, the family had to separate. The mother and children are sleeping on the floor in of an apartment. The father is staying at another place.

Tomorrow, that's all changing, because of Cowherd and other families at the school.

"Something needed to happen,” said Justin Ross. "People are giving what they can."

The community stepped up - donating money and time -  to get the family a house, filled with furniture, food, cleaning supplies and Christmas presents.

Ross said the house is leased “through July and then maybe longer.” The rent is only paid through Februaury. 

It's an amazing holiday gift - that began with because of Cowherd.

"I would see the parents coming in… It was raining one day and they had just come from a meeting at the school. I left to get lunch, and I saw them walking. So I put them in the car and took them home and told them whenever they needed a ride just call Ms. Cowherd."

She first met them a year and a half ago.

"In the midst of knowing them unfortunately they got evicted from their apartment,” Cowherd said.

Realizing the family needed help, Cowherd started asking around. Before she knew it, close to 75 different families were chipping in.

"I'm just so overwhelmed with the response we got,” she said.

The parents who are going to live in the new home know all about it. Their five boys do not.

Tomorrow they'll see it for the first time, and WUSA9 will be there with them.

Cowherd said she knows the boys, who are all under the age of 10, will be amazed – but she’s most excited for their beds.

"They're [sleeping] on the floor [right now]. So for them to just be in the comfort of a bed - I just can't wait for them to have a goodnight sleep." 


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