Homeless family of 8 are gifted a house for the holidays: ‘I can’t stop smiling’

Canitra Thompson wasn’t thinking about Christmas this year, she was concerned about where she and her seven children would be living.

The Virginia mom had fallen on hard times and at one point was forced to live in a hotel with her children, not knowing what the future held for them all.

Now Canitra, from Petersburg, can’t stop smiling after she was selected by Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity for a new home.

“I was literally in shock for a while,” Canitra said. “I can’t stop smiling. I’m so excited, I’m so happy, so happy. This is Christmas for me for a long time because I just never thought I would end up right here.

Just in time for Christmas, family of 8 gifted new home: 'I can't stop  smiling'

“We can finally have a home, we ain’t gotta go nowhere else,” she added, as per WTVR.com.

But the generous and much-needed offer comes with conditions which helps to fuel this organization in its tireless work to put a roof over the heads of those that need it most.

Canitra will have to put 300 hours work into helping to build her house and then 100 hours toward helping to build another home to help another family that needs it most.

“I’m excited because I feel like it still gives us an opportunity to help someone while someone is helping us,” she said.

Petersburg mother of seven getting a new home | 8News

To help with the cost of the project, Dominion Energy donated $30,000.

Not only is the organization helping to house the most needy in a community but also the hope is that it will have a positive effect on the community.

“It has the transformation effect is what I call it. When people see this type of renovation going on in their neighborhood, it definitely sparks interest from investors and from property owners to say, hey, let’s step up our game here and put these resources necessary to improve the neighborhood,” Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham said.

‘Give people an opportunity’

Neighbors are optimistic about how the home could help the community.

“It’s work that needs to be done on several homes in the neighborhood and it would be nice to make it just a family-oriented place if they would fix them up and give people an opportunity to have a nice place to live,” Sandilen Stewart, who lives near where the home will be built said.

If all goes to plan Canitra and her children could be moving into their new house this time next year.

I’m so happy this family no longer has the stress of constantly having to find shelter. No child should ever have to suffer this worry.

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