|Updated: 2/13/2012 3:58 am
||Published: 2/12/2012 7:07 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Little Rock family of eight now has a place to call home after living in a car.
Rock of Hope, a faith-based group tackling homelessness in Little Rock, blessed the Clay family's new home Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. It is the first time the Clays have lived together under one roof in a year. The Rock of Hope provides temporary housing while individuals and families get back on their feet.
"We were living on the street at one point. We had to stay in our car, and it was like really sad because we didn't have anywhere to sleep," says Annaistazia Clay.
For Annaistazia's dad, Ceasar, that was rock bottom.
"Eight people living out of one car. We lived in a car, you know until I saved up enough money to, you know, get a hotel room," says Ceasar Clay.
The Clays tried staying together, but soon found out that it is difficult to place a family of eight in one shelter.
"We had to get split up into three different foster cares. It was bad and we couldn't see our mom and dad for like a few weeks," says Annaistazia.
The Clays weren't always homeless. Ceasar Clay says he was renting to own when the landlord sold the house to someone else.
"They evicted us. Prosecuted me and everything. That's the one thing I can not believe. And, I got a criminal charge for a misdemeanor, failure to vacate, failure to pay rent," he says.
Clay could not pay rent because an injury caused the father of six to miss work.
"I got my hand cut up real bad. That's the real reason we got down on our luck. Because I don't believe in men hitting women and I got into an altercation with a man who was hitting on my niece," he says.
Clay found work again recently, and he also has a new home. The new home is thanks to the Rock of Hope.
"There are loving and caring people out there," he told the group gathered at the Little Rock home Sunday afternoon.
Now, the Clay children have bunk beds instead of car seats. Rock of Hope inspired the Clay girls. They volunteer feeding the homeless at soup kitchens because they know what it's like to have nowhere to call home.
"Now, we can all live together and be a happy, happy family," says Annaistazia.
The Clays moved into their new home a few weeks ago, but it was blessed this weekend by Rock of Hope.