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After VPM Report, Anonymous Callers Help Evicted Family Move From Motel To Apartment

A couple looks out of a motel room door, while a young girl reads at the end of a bed.
Months after Jeffrey and Kelly's story aired on WNYC and VPM, they've finally moved out of a one-room motel into a three-bedroom apartment. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Earlier this year, VPM News ran a series on Richmond’s evictions crisis. One story focused on a local family that’d been living in a motel for over a year, struggling to find housing after an eviction.

Up until this past Saturday, Richmond couple Jeffrey and Kelly, and four of their kids had been living in a motel room for nearly two years. Their housing search was seriously hampered by an eviction in 2017 when Jeffrey’s hours at work were cut. We’re not using the family’s last name to protect them from any additional future housing searches they may have to undertake.

But now, thanks to multiple people -- who wish to remain anonymous -- who called in to help following the publication of this story, the family has a home in time for the holidays. Over the weekend, the family finally moved into an apartment.

“I haven't even been able to sit down and process like, we're in the home,” Jeffrey said. “And the kids, you know, the kids are ecstatic.”

The family now have a three bedroom apartment and amenities like a clubhouse and gym for the kids to enjoy. The family is sleeping on air mattresses for now while they search for furniture, preferably for free. And Kelly says her kids haven’t gotten used to sleeping in their own beds, yet, because they’re so used to all sleeping together in the same bed in the cramped motel room.

 “They’re just trying to get used to having all of the extra space and stuff like that,” Kelly said.

They’re getting used to other things, too, like cooking without a microwave, using a physical key to unlock the door, and not having to worry about heat.

Megan Pauly covers education and health care issues in the greater Richmond region.
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