A homeless family of nine found that, thanks to the kindness of strangers in Norfolk, Virginia, they had a place to sleep.
June McCord and her eight children moved from California to Virginia, under the impression that they would stay with local family members until McCord could get back on her feet. When this fell through, they had nowhere to go – even local homeless shelters did not respond to their requests.
One night, they had finally run out of places to spend the night.
“My children slept in the car and I slept on the ground and because of that, I got out there with a sign that said I was homeless,” McCord said.
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When Norfolk Police Officer Wayne Ricci saw the family on the street, he paid for the family to stay in a hotel for two nights out of his own pocket, without telling anybody.
“I needed to help her,” Ricci said. “It was getting late, it was real hot that night. I told her to pack the kids up, we’re going to get a hotel.”
McCord’s oldest daughter, 18-year-old Olivia Obeng, contacted NewsChannel 3, desperate for help.
“My mom, she was standing out there holding a sign,” her email read. “People are judging her. I was just looking at the kids while they were sitting in the car thirsty and hungry. It’s just sad so I’m just going to write and then hopefully someone will help and you did so.”
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NewsChannel 3 contacted several homeless shelters, where they learned that the large, out-of-state family did not qualify, but the station found a spot anyway.
Now, McCord is able to look for work while Obeng watches her siblings.
On NewsChannel 3’s Facebook page, viewers have offered the family help, including job offers and a back to school drive for clothing and supplies. While some viewers are critical, many offer words of encouragement.
“It's so easy to judge others, but look at how one act of kindness is already creating a chain reaction,” Krystal Marie Wenz said on NewsChannel 3’s Facebook page. "Prayers for this family."