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STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — A Cleveland family of eight, who was homeless for months, is now getting a free car to help improve their lives together.

The car giveaway was a big surprise and no one in the family knew about it.

Shahonna Hardwick and her seven children received the “Spark of Hope” award Monday afternoon and the award comes with a brand new car and other gifts for her family to enjoy.

“I’m feeling blessed,” Hardwick, of Cleveland, said.

Back in September, Hardwick’s sons, Shaheed and Shahaad, were given cameras to take photographs expressing their hopes and dreams while living at a homeless shelter. The program is called “Pictures of Hope” sponsored by Chevrolet and artist, Linda Solomon.

“Shaheed and Shahaad brothers only dreamed for their families, one of the dreams were for themselves. Shaheed dreamed for love and for help. That’s a very hard thing to say even for adults,” Solomon said.

While they were homeless, the family had dreams of one day having a car so they could spend more time together.

Shahonna, who works in housekeeping at the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, used to take two buses to get to work which took an hour each way but that’s all changed now.

“It’s gonna make us closer, spending time. I have time, run errands with them and do things with them and for them, so it’s working out fine. It’s gonna work out fine,” said Shahonna Hardwick.

For almost seven months, Shahonna Hardwick and her seven children lived at a homeless shelter in Cleveland run by The Salvation Army. Hardwick said she learned some very valuable lessons while living there.

“I’m happy to go through what I’ve been through and for my children to experience that is nice. No one was hurt. Everybody learned a lesson and we grew closer together,” said Hardwick.