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Published December 25, 2013, 10:25 PM

Churches United for Homeless provides home for family on Christmas Day

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - While many were set on getting home for Christmas, there were some without a home for the holiday. One family at Churches United for the Homeless in Moorhead says the magic of Christmas was still present, even during this difficult time in their lives.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - While many were set on getting home for Christmas, there were some without a home for the holiday.

One family at Churches United for the Homeless in Moorhead says the magic of Christmas was still present, even during this difficult time in their lives.

It might not be the ideal situation, Christmas in a shelter, sleeping on a laundry room floor, but then again, there are worse places you could be.

Amanda/Resident at Churches United: "It's like family. They are just open and welcoming."

Amanda, who prefers we not use her last name, traveled here from California leaving behind an unhealthy relationship with her 9-year-old son's father.

Amanda: "My brother said there was lots of work up here, the unemployment rate was really low because in California, you can't find a job down there."

Amanda, her son, mother, and this little kitten left last Thursday, Fargo-bound.

They faced poor driving conditions, and slept in the car.

They ran out of gas money early on, but got help filling the tank from churches and kind strangers along the way.

Finally arriving in Fargo on Christmas Eve, their plan to stay with family fell through, so they came here, to Churches United.

There was no more room, a familiar scenario in the biblical Christmas story, but unlike the Inn in the story, the shelter did not turn Amanda's family away.

Instead, staff laid down mattresses for them to sleep in the laundry room.

The shelter has already been at capacity for months, and on Christmas Eve, nine new people including Amanda and her family came knocking on the door.

Jane Alexander/Executive Director: "We try to not ever turn a family away, and last night, especially it was really important that we not, so those children wake up and feel like it is Christmas no matter where they are."

On Christmas morning, the more than thirty children staying in the shelter woke to find gifts donated by the GOFAR organization, Amanda says it helped make sure her son didn't go without.

Amanda: "Every kid needs a Christmas experience, no matter where you are or what you're doing."

Amanda preferred her son not be on camera for the story.

Last night, ninety-six people stayed at Churches United, and they sent about twenty more to the sheltering churches program.

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