Family spends first Christmas in new home after years without one

CHENEY, Wash. — Kids across the Inland Northwest woke up to presents and lots of love from their families on Christmas morning. 

For one family in Cheney, the day was particularly special. That’s because they spent their first Christmas in a new home after years without one. 

“Today’s the best day I’ve had in a long time,” said Norm Martin. 

For the first time in four years, Norm and his daughter celebrated Christmas in a home; their home. 

Nine-year-old Cheyenne woke up to quite a few presents under the tree, surrounded by her parents. 

“I’m truly blessed because not everyone gets a second chance,” said Norm. 

He’s been through a lot in his life. Car accident, stroke, prison, to losing his home. 

“We lost our home in 2016. I was fighting for social security disability,” said Norm. 

The Martin Family came from Arizona, landing in Spokane in April. They eventually made their way to Family Promise, a nonprofit which helps families experiencing homelessness.

“They’ve been amazing,” said Norm. “It’s like we got here in April, man, August 21, we’re in this place. All the furniture, a majority of the clothes, money.” 

This year alone, Family Promise has helped more than 400 people, like the Martin’s, in its shelter. 

Nearly 150 people found a permanent home thanks to them. 

“When families arrive to us, they arrive on their worst day. The day they’re homeless with children,” said Joe Alder with Family Promise. “We get to see them in a really desperate and in a hopeless state, but we get to build on with those families and we get to see them into their own homes and to celebrate that with them, I mean, there are few things that are a greater joy than being able to see that.” 

The happiness on Norm’s face says it all. Enjoying what he has now, seeing his daughter happy, opening her gifts. 

“It was a really great Christmas,” said Cheyenne.

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