Lansing Family Gets a Home for the Holidays

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

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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  • by Courtney Location: Location on Jan 9, 2013 at 07:35 AM
    @Anonymous: "who is to say she was given the choice to get pregnant five times." Seriously?? She had a choice five times to have unprotected sex, unless certain body parts jumped out and partied and came back pregnant. Most sexual assault vicitms, and I highly doubt she qualifies as that 5 times, wouldn't keep 5 unwanted children and to use that as an excuse is a copout. Women have a choice 95% of the time based on who they hang out with, where they hang out, and how they hang out. It is called self-respect.
  • by Name Location: Location on Jan 9, 2013 at 06:17 AM
    You are right Anonymous, my opinion would be different if she had fewer children but it would not be too much different. Having children you cannot afford is irresponsible but having FIVE of them is ridiculous. Our society consistently rewards people who procreate. What about people who choose not to have children for financial reasons? I have never heard a church giving a single woman with no children this kind of assistance. DHS will not help you if you do not have children. And, as a taxpayer, I do have a right to have an opinion on this woman and her drain on our resources.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 8, 2013 at 09:39 AM
    Thank you Hank and Kelly! I can say St Gerard is the last place I will donate any of my hard earned money if this is how they use it! I see no one from there has bothered to comment and even try and defend their actions. I would like to know why they thought this was a good choice, instead of helping out a vet that maybe down on their luck. At least they did something for our country other than try and repopulate it all by them selves.
  • by Jason Location: Lansing on Jan 8, 2013 at 09:17 AM
    How did she get 5 kids? I mean literally, who in their right mind would sleep with that?! Sick, sick, sick!
  • by Hank Location: Jackson on Jan 8, 2013 at 09:15 AM
    Oh, I see we have (one) Anonymous bleeding heart on here. (Aww, poor lady with 5 kids, let's give them a house). SMDH.
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Jan 8, 2013 at 06:45 AM
    @ Anonymouse, its a shame you have such a strong opinion but yet neglect to use your real name, point blank your correct no need to speculate however the pattern this woman shows is all to common and effects every one quit honestly if the state chooses to giver her our tax dollars, EBT, medical, WIC, then the state also needs to step in and monitor the # of kids. I am married work full time we live pay check to pay check never received aid my husband at his job 21 years it is not fair to assume this woman should pull some mental issue card out of her back pocket as her reasoning for having 5 kids & lets point out no mention of a SPOUSE she is obviously having her fun and we are paying. I am glad to hear there are programs to assist her w/ a more stable location for the kids sake but what is she doing to change her lifestyle bringing another kid in to this world wasn't a smart choice BIRTH CONTROL is FREE and alot cheaper then birthing a child. I hope you realize that your defense was weak and that to call any one ignorant and judgemental was rude and incosiderate..
  • by Anonymous Location: Location on Jan 7, 2013 at 04:52 PM
    Some of these comments only continue to let us know that this world consist of so many ignorant and judgmental individuals. Has anyone ever taken the time to consider the fact that this mother of five may also be suffering from some mental health issues, who is to say she was given the choice to get pregnant five times. Instead everyone automatically assumes she is freeloading off the government or that each child was conceived by a different father. Everything is not as it may seem. Yes, there are individuals who abuse the system which is truly unfortunate. However, that may not be the case in this situation. Positive if she were of a different racial background or had a smaller amount of children these assumptions would not be made.
  • by Jenny Location: Jackson County on Jan 6, 2013 at 06:37 PM
    While the charitable donation for the single mother of 5 children, out of wedlock, with who knows how many different daddies, no earned income no stable EARNED income in sight may have been news worthy; I am appalled at how WILX glorified the abuse of a charity. Charities are designed for helping those that are choosing to help themselves to live a better live. The mother in this story has obviously miscalculated her menstrual cycles, her willingness to utilize birth control, her willingness to STOP PRO CREATING children neither she or baby daddies are financially supporting. Everyone and I mean everyone has to clear speed bumps and hardships while raising their family. I'd prefer that charitable contributions be donated and invested with people that have a proven record of self-sufficiency, work ethic, self control and ambition to give, not take. Hard times are temporary....abusing the charity of others, leeching off of tax payers and the enabling social programs seem to be generational learned and taught behaviors. I'm waiting for WILX to give full, truthful and accurate information on the "fathers" of these 5 children. It's the least a reporter could do after throwing the rewards of the mothers choices in a viewers face.
  • by Leroy Location: Okemos on Jan 3, 2013 at 09:32 AM
    Fantastic story TV 10. I have an idea to go with this feel good propaganda, run a segment on the hard working people loseing their homes because they are being taxed to death so that this baby factory can have a free house.
  • by Name Location: Location on Jan 3, 2013 at 06:23 AM
    I am not sure why anyone would say shame on WILX in this situation. I think it is important that we are aware of what charities are doing.
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