Lansing Family Gets a Home for the Holidays

As single mom Lakiva Osborne walked through the doors of her new home, Sunday, there were no words, just smiles.

"When we first pulled up, I was like, 'oh my God, it's so beautiful'," said Osborne, 25.

For her five kids, there was plenty of excitement as they explored the rooms of something they have never been able to call their own.

"Over the last couple of years, I've been in and out of homes, but not actually stable," said Osborne.

A limited income kept Osborne from being able to pay rent. More recently, she raised her family from a motel room. Shortly after giving birth to her fifth child, two months ago, Osborne decided she needed help and connected with the 'One Church, One Family' program.

Joan Jackson Johnson, Director of Human Resources and Community Services for Lansing, helps run the program, which provides a city-owned home for low monthly rent to a chosen candidate.
Jackson Johnson has seen the Osborne family go in and out of shelters for the last few years.

"All children need stability in their lives and it starts with housing," said Jackson Johnson. "She's struggled and we recognize that she needs a lot of support and things just began to fall together a few weeks ago."

The program also pairs the family with a local church for support. In this case St. Gerard in Delta Township provided all the furniture in the house.

Linda Smith was one of several St. Gerard parishioners who watched tearfully as the house was blessed.

"It's a miracle," said Smith. "A young mother with five little ones being given this opportunity. What's better than that?"

For the Osborne family, this Christmas miracle couldn't have come at a better time.

The church is not stopping their help now. A core group from St. Gerard will keep a close eye on the family and help support them with daycare and mentoring as long as they need it.

Osborne and her children have the house as long as they need it.


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