KANSAS CITY, MO (CNN) -- In Kansas City, a community is rallying around families who are homeless with a program that gets them off the streets and into rehabilitated homes. Two families in the area got new homes Thursday just in time for the holidays.
Latoya Caldwell and her four children have been homeless for more than a year and a half, but today that changed.
Caldwell was surprised by county executive mike sanders with a new home today.
It's a program designed with three goals in mind: rehabilitate vacant homes, provide that home to a homeless family, and help create new jobs for those, some thought, to be un-employable. She said, "It means a lot to me. It means a lot. It's got a good foundation and they can just rise up from there."
For Caldwell it's a dream come true. She said, "Right now, it's not reality for the kids they're just like, 'Oh, my goodness, what's going on?'"
Jackson County Constructing Futures was founded in 2008 and this is the fifth home they've given away. Most of the funds for the project come from area partnerships. The group says... it's the perfect combination to rehabilitate old homes... keep tax dollars flowing in the county... and get homeless families off the streets."
Mike Sanders said,"You look at just the Ivanhoe neighborhood right here, 40 percent of the housing stock that's hundreds of homes are currently un-occupied. They've got good bones, they've got good structures with just a little bit of money we can rehab those homes, make them livable, bring people back into those houses, take people out of homelessness."
In all two area homeless families getting new homes today. It's a feeling, they might have otherwise never known.