• Volunteers' move-in kits help formerly homeless make transition


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The last month has totally transformed Rhonda Allard's life.

    Thanks to a federal and Orange County housing program, she now has a home of her own at Orange County's Maxwell Terrace.

    It's been a long, hard road for Allard, who said she lived on the streets and in woods for years.

    She said, now, for the first time in a long time, she's optimistic about her future.

    "I think it looks awesome. (I'm) very hopeful. I'm grateful and blessed," Allard said.

    Allard had no idea that she was going to be blessed even more until volunteers from the Make it a Home program showed up with a move-in kit. 

    The kit is actually boxes and boxes of items that people who have recently transitioned from homelessness need.

    If you have a home, the boxes are filled with items you probably take for granted, like food, personal hygiene items, detergent, shampoo and even 40 rolls of toilet paper.

    The kits came together because of a partnership between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Impact Homelessness and the Faith Committee of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.

    "For us, this is just putting our faith into action. That's basically is what it is. It for us, it's the love of Christ expressed for someone in need. You know there's a special place in God's heart for the vulnerable.  So it's great joy, a blessing, a privilege to be able to give them a tangible part of God's love for them," Faith Committee chairman Dr. Joel Hunter said.

    The kits were assembled at LDS church's Bishop's Storehouse, a project totally run by volunteers.

    On Thursday the group was assembling 240 move-in kits to be delivered to people like Allard, who were once homeless, but who now have a new appreciation of what welcome home truly means.

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