Thanks to the generosity of strangers, a homeless family that TODAY'S TMJ4 first introduced you to last month, is getting a home. Tonight, they wanted to say thank you.
When we last saw Takeila Hilliard and her four kids, they were staying in a motel room on a freezing night, because homeless shelters were full. But they didn't have enough money to stay at the motel for long.
"Not knowing where you're going to lay your head at night is difficult," Hilliard says.
Since our story aired, strangers donated more than $5,800 to a GoFundMe page created for the family. And a city leader stepped-up. Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman met the family in person Wednesday. He found a landlord in his district willing to offer reduced-rent, and others wanting to donate furniture and clothes.
"If we can get one family started on a road to stability, I consider that a victory," Ald. Bauman says.
But he knows this is just one small part of a much bigger challenge.
"Obviously we want to do more on a systematic basis to deal with homelessness," he says. "To deal with families. To deal with mom's with young children who are unable to find decent, adequate housing. It's a city-wide problem. It's a county-wide problem."
This is at least a step in the right direction. Their smiles show just how thankful this family is.
"When you're in a situation like this, you tend to believe that you're in it alone and nobody cares about you," Hilliard says. "But this situation right here should prove to everybody that there are still people who care."
On any given night in Milwaukee there are more than 1,500 homeless men, women and children.
If you'd like to help Takeila Hilliard and her family, you can visit their GoFundMe page.