CLEVELAND (WJW)-- A mother and her two young sons are sleeping soundly tonight in their new apartment thanks to a generous community effort.
Through the organization The Real Black Friday, Teranisha Taylor was selected to move out of a homeless shelter and into an apartment they can call their own -- rent-free for a year.
"I was actually speechless. I did shed a couple of tears because I was not expecting this," Taylor said.
LaRese Purnell, the founder of The Real Black Friday, was able to provide the apartment and renovate it with help from other local entrepreneurs. He said Purnell was chosen from 120 nominees.
"She has a home. She has keys to her own place today," he said.
The day's events were emotional for all.
"It's important to me that I just never forget what God did for me and my family and I made a commitment to him that if he blessed me, I'd bless others."
Purnell himself experienced homelessness -- and at one point moved to the same street Taylor will now call home on Cleveland's east side.
"It brings back memories just to be on the street where we got our first place to live. To be back here twenty-something years later," he said.
The initiative, called "Home for the Holidays: The Victoria Edition," honors Purnell's mother.
"She always taught me, even when we were struggling, we would go, help people," he explained.
Purnell highlighted the group effort to make the home "turn-key" ready.
"We painted, put new carpeting in, got floors in. I promise if you guys saw the before pictures, you would be amazed at the work," Purnell said.
"That makes me feel good knowing that all these people put in their time and effort to do this. So I'm really grateful for that as well," Taylor said. She told us her favorite room was the living room with all of the Christmas decorations.
Taylor will also receive free financial counseling and a savings account with a monthly requirement.
"We are shifting a mindset and we are committed to seeing this young lady's life change," Purnell said.
For Taylor, this gift means more than just a place to live, but a place to thrive.
"New beginnings," she said.
Purnell said he hopes one day, she will be able to pay it forward.