Tampa Housing Authority surprises families in need with Christmas gifts, food

Tampa Housing Authority surprises more than two dozen families with presents

TAMPA, Fla. -- It can be hard to make ends meets. Having to pay for rent, groceries, and childcare.

So, putting gifts under the Christmas tree just isn't possible for some families in Tampa.

That’s why Tampa Housing Authority is easing the burden.

Thursday morning, employees delivered gifts to 27 families from eight different housing units.

Damonique Norfleet has two boys and one girl. She's been living in an affordable housing apartment in Tampa for five years.

During that time, she's been able to find a job.

“Very appreciative. Very Blessed. Without them I don't know where I'd be,” says Norfleet.

She was chosen by employees of the Tampa Housing Authority to receive their wish list for the holidays.

Clothes, toys, and food were delivered to spread some holiday cheer.

Anteria Robinson also has a job, but says it hasn't been easy to give her kids the Christmas they deserve.

“My kids, oh man! They're going to be so excited. It’s going to mean a lot to them,” says Robinson.

Janice Damaze with the THA says once families have a safe and affordable place to live, they can attack other issues head-on, like finding employment.

“The goal is to help them become self-sufficient,” says Damaze.

Many of the families we spoke with tell us they've been able to get back on their feet because of Affordable Housing.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of families in Tampa bay desperate to find affordable housing.

Currently, there are over 22,000 people on the Tampa Housing Authority waitlist.

There is a non-profit called Sadowski Housing Coalition, they advocate for using state and local housing funds solely for housing.

They help people contact local legislators so they can speak to them about issues with our affordable housing.

Click here to find out how to contact your legislator.

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