Local News

Former Homeless Family Settling into Their New Home

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DURHAM — Several weeks ago, WRAL told the sad story of a homeless family in Durham: four young children, their mother in jail, their father turned away from a shelter. Now, thanks to many in the community, life is good for the family.

When we first introduced Jackie Aiken and her children, they were homeless, living in a shelter with little hope. Thanks to the many viewers who saw their story and donated money, the family now has a home.

Durham's Community Shelter for Hope helped organize donations for the family.

"I don't know what the total amount was, but what I have is what you see. And I'm very grateful. I'm just glad I'm here," says Aiken of her new home.

The family, including father Gene Garrett, is now working on a future where they do not have to depend on others.

"For me it's harder when somebody gives it to you. I'm not used to anybody giving me anything. So every time I wake up and I look around I say, 'OK, I've got to make sure this is done, make sure this is maintained' because everyone expects you to fail," says Aiken.

Things for the family hit rock bottom several weeks ago. Jackie Aiken, desperate for money, was caught stealing meat to feed her children and went to jail.

But this family now has a new freedom: a new home and a chance to turn their lives around.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Jim Young, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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