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PUSH-CR Finds Home for First Family

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) At the beginning of the week, RJ Rampot, Alisha Hinkel and their daughter were without a home. To get by they needed a helping hand.

"Mainly my parents, said Rampot. Worked some stuff out."

But even that help came after bouncing around from one place to another. This week, Alisha got a call from her Department of Human Services worker saying her family would soon have a place to call their own.

"I couldn't believe it at first. He told me over the phone and it was kind of hard telling him because it's like, "No, it can't be us, said Hinkel.

Except it was. Her family was eligible for PUSH-CR, a program that helps at risk families with young children find housing they can afford. Four Oaks President Anne Gruenewald says signing on the dotted line is just the beginning.

"If you can start families not only in housing but make sure that they've got all of the supports necessary, they're able to stabilize faster, said Gruenewald.

The idea is if families with young children have a place to consistently call home, those children are more likely to stay safe.

"Kids need stability and structure and they need the constancy of the people, in other words, their parents, living with them, said Gruenewald.

Gruenewald says that gives the kids a good chance to be successful in the future. But RJ and Alisha are just the first to benefit from the program. Gruenewald says over the next three years, 124 other families will also have places to call home.

"These are families that if this kind of program wasn't available, would continue to probably be homeless and their children might not be in a position to grow up with their parents, said Gruenewald.

For this couple, it didnt seem real.

"So now that we actually have keys to the house, it's nice. It's a for sure thing, said Hinkel.
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