LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) -- On any given day, you'll see homeless people in Lakeland's Munn Park.
A high school senior in Lakeland never thought she'd be one of them.
“If people looked at me, they wouldn't know that I was homeless,” she said.
The student asked us not to show her face or use her name. She hasn't even told her classmates her mom's small business wasn't making money, and that they'd been evicted weeks before Christmas.
“I try not to think about it,” she said. “It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me, so I try to occupy my mind with school or my part-time job that I have.”
The student is staying at the Salvation Army with her mom, her brother and her sister. A former teacher of hers is stepping in to help with a goal of finding them a place to live before Christmas.
“This is a young lady who has the entire world in front of her, and for her to be homeless, most especially at Christmastime, it made my heart sink,” John Davis explained.
The man she knows as Mr. Davis said the student is nice to everyone. Now, he's hoping they'll return the favor. He set up a GoFundMe to raise enough money to get her family into a new apartment.
“It's Christmastime,” he said. “I believe that everybody, rich or poor, no matter what station in life, deserves a Christmas that is special.”
This holiday season, the student's expectations for Christmas have changed, and so has her view on the homeless.
“Homelessness doesn't define a person. It's just a circumstance,” she said.
They say there's no place like home for the holidays. This Christmas, that's all she really wants.
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