NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A new year, a new place to live, and a new life.
A member of the New York Giants has helped save a single mom in New Jersey from getting evicted.
It’s a story CBS2 we brought you back in November, and now the family is starting off 2020 in a new home, Lisa Rozner reported.
Ten-year-old Miciah Howell went from sleeping on a mattress on the floor alongside her family to her own room with a new bed.
“It gives me a boost of confidence that we can have people over in our house without feeling uncomfortable,” Miciah said. “It’s more like if I have my friends over we can have me time and I can have Zumba and I can chillax.”
It’s a new start for Miciah, her two older brothers, Zaihmir and Jonathan, and mother, Taneka. Everyone gets their own room in the home they moved into just in time for Christmas and the new year.
At at one point, the family lived in a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and in November they faced eviction from the one-bedroom in Newark the entire family shared.
Taneka Howell contacted Jenny DePaul, founder of the nonprofit Project Kind, for help.
“My hope really was just to share that story knowing that somebody was going to hear it,” DePaul said.
Giants tight end Rhett Ellison heard it and offered to pay a year’s worth of rent in a new home in the same neighborhood.
“I’m like, wow, thank God this is really going on. This is really happening. We’re not in a shelter. We’re not on the street,” Taneka said.
“The peace of mind is really a lot for me,” 17-year-old Zaihmir added.
“It was really just a blessing, yeah,” added Jonathan, 13.
Aside from multiple bedrooms, there’s also a kitchen, living room, and, hopefully, a dining room once the moving boxes are removed.
In the meantime, Taneka, who said she is a certified medical assistant, is looking for full-time employment so she can pay the rent once the donation year is over. She is also in school, with plans of working with survivors of domestic violence when she graduates.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I’m excited,” she said. “I need nothing right now and that’s amazing to say.”
Some of the kids are still sleeping on their old mattresses and there’s still some furniture missing. Project Kind is hoping donors will step up in 2020 and help the family officially settle in their new home, Rozner reported.
Project Kind said there is a waiting list of people like the Howells in need of a home. For now, the founder hopes someone with furniture or a furniture company can pitch in to furnish their home. To find out how you can donate to Project Kind, please click here.