After Years Of Experiencing Homelessness, Boy Gets His Own Bed For The First Time And Cries Tears Of Joy

The family was also given $10,000 to help them get a fresh start.

After years of experiencing homelessness, Dionna Neely and her 8-year-old son, Daerye, are finally getting a fresh start. 

Back in 2012, Neely lost her job and shortly after, her home. She and her son lived in shelters before finally receiving housing last November. Still, the small Detroit, MI family did not have much to live on; their home was furnished with just a few blankets, an air mattress, and a few camp chairs. After being referred by the Neely's social worker, Detroit-based nonprofit Humble Design, an organization that furnishes homes with donated goods for people transitioning out of shelters, stepped in to help. 

It was during the holiday season in December 2017 when Humble Design gifted the Neely family with something they will never forget. 

"With the help of volunteers from J.C. Miller Real Estate, we are happy to welcome this family home, and just in time for Christmas," the organization said in a Facebook video post capturing the house tour last month. "We think it might be the best Christmas yet." 

While it was heartwarming to see the family check out their newly decorated and furnished home, the most touching part of the video was the moment Daerye saw his bedroom for the first time. In the sweet clip below, the 8-year-old is overwhelmed with joy and breaks into tears, crying into his mother's arms. 


"When Dearye saw his room, his eyes lit up, but then the reality of seeing everything that he hoped and asked for were right before his eyes," Julie Nagle, executive director of Humble Design, told A Plus. "He then got overwhelmed and cried. (This happens a lot with the children that we serve) The burden of not having to sleep on the floor becomes real." 

The new home wasn't the only treat for the Neelys. According to ABC, the U-Haul Company of Detroit, Michigan, a national partner of Humble Design, presented Neely with a $10,000 check. The generous gift will help support the family as well as Neely's dream to continue nursing school — she had been forced to drop out after losing her job. 

See the Neelys' full house tour below.

"The importance of our work is to give families a fresh new start and to restore hope and dignity through what we do," Nagle told A Plus." People can get involved by donating their finances to assist us to continue to service three families a week, 156 families a year. It costs us approximately $3,000 to move a family into a home. [...]  We also have an opportunity for people to volunteer in our warehouse to assist us in the sorting and organizing of the in-kind donations that come in on a daily basis." 

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comments from Julie Nagle, the executive director of Humble Design.  


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.