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Homeless Cleveland mom and her two kids will receive a rent-free apartment for one year through an initiative created by The Real Black Friday organization

Homeless Cleveland mom and her two kids will receive a rent-free apartment for one year through an initiative created by The Real Black Friday organization

Teranisha Taylor

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Teranisha Taylor, 26, and her 3- and 10-year-old kids, will spend Christmas in a place that had become a bit unfamiliar to them. A home to call their own.

Taylor is the recipient of the “Home for the Holidays: The Victoria Edition” initiative. The program was created through The Real Black Friday organization and its founder, LaRese Purnell.

It’s an opportunity for a homeless family to have, not only a place for the holidays, but for a year.

On Sunday, Dec. 22, Taylor and her kids will move into a newly renovated, furnished apartment — decked out for Christmas with lots of gifts and rent-free through 2020. The residence is in Cleveland.

Along with its partners, TRBF has set up free financial and credit counseling for Taylor for a year. She’s only being asked to commit to saving $250 per month, at a credit union chosen by the organization, so by the end of the year she will have saved $3,250. That amount will be on top of other expected donations.

The main principle is not to give her a fish but teach her how to fish, so she will be self-sufficient after this year, says Purnell.

Taylor, who works 12-hour shifts at a Amazon facility, hopes this will help her and her kids get back on track.

“This wonderful opportunity will benefit me and my kids in so many ways,” said Taylor. “It will give me a chance to add to the $250 already in the account to reach my goal of $3,250. Also, I will be able to save money to start my color-changing swimwear line that has been on hold due to some setbacks.

“To be blessed with this opportunity right before Christmas is great. The situations I have been through this past year have not been good. How often does someone get to experience someone giving them an apartment with the rent paid up for one year? I plan on taking the money saved and move to Arizona with my kids in pursuit of a clothing line career.”

Participants in this program had to be nominated by someone. Taylor is not sure who nominated her and her kids.

The Victoria part of the title is a way for Purnell to honor his mother. His family was homeless at one time. Coincidentally, the apartment Taylor and her kids are getting is close to the first one Purnell and his mom shared after leaving a shelter, he said.

Purnell lights up when he says his mom will be along on Sunday when Taylor is handed the keys.

Other organizations that participated in this initiative include: Premier Barber Lounge, Golden Key Construction, Table Solutions, Kathy’s Little Angels Daycare, Sarzo Construction and The Cochran Firm.

Purnell is a managing partner of CLE Consulting Firm in downtown Cleveland.

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