Waking up in his own bed is something new for Jaasir, who turns 3 in a couple months. Up until a few days ago, he and his mother were homeless. They bounced between shelters and friends' couches.
But this Christmas morning, they had a home of their own, thanks to a voucher program through the D.C. Department of Human Services.
As Jaasir played with his new toys, his mom, Reggae Moore, said she was thrilled to have a home of her own.
"I can't wait to cook my first meal in my own kitchen," she said.
Moore and Jaasir are just one of more than 200 families who were approved for housing vouchers over the past two months through the Home for the Holidays program. The D.C. government initiative launched in 2017 pays rent for homeless families. But they need landlords to open their doors and let them move in.
Home for the Holidays aims to house 400 families by Jan. 15, said Dora Taylor-Lowe, the Department of Human Services spokeswoman.
"The solution to homeless is housing. The District has the resources available to help these households, to get on their feet, we just need landlords to provide the units and give folks another chance," she said.
Moore said she hoped this holiday in her new home would be one of many.
"A lot more Christmases and Thanksgivings. Every holiday. Not just this one," she said.
Helping End Homelessness
If you're a landlord with an affordable unit available, go here to learn how you can help.
You also can help formerly homeless people by donating new or gently used housewares, toys and professional clothing. Go here to learn how you can help.