Mom of 8 forced out of home gets help from stranger

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ATLANTA - Thanks to a Channel 2 viewer, a mother of eight now has a new place to live, after she said she got kicked out of a home she rented from someone who wasn't the actual owner.

Lyna McNeil said she agreed to rent the home from a man named Shawn, who showed her the home after she found his number on a neighborhood sign. The rent was supposed to be $750, which she would start paying after making minor repairs. But a couple weeks ago, she said a man named "Mr. Carr," who claimed to be the home's owner, showed up demanding she and her eight children get out. McNeil and her children were told they had to be out of the house overnight and off the property by Friday morning.
 
“I have offered to pay him rent. I've offered to pay him security deposits, but he doesn't want that,” McNeil said.
 
McNeil watched as men carried their belongings to the curb.
 
Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri tried to talk to Carr, but he declined to comment. He had the locks changed as soon as McNeil got her possessions and her family out.
 
After the story aired, a Channel 2 viewer came forward and offered her vacant four-bedroom house to the family. The owner says she is letting them stay, rent-free, for at least a couple of months. 

When speaking with the homeowner on the phone, McNeil expressed her gratitude.

"Thank you so, so much. And God bless you so, so much," she said.  

Within an hour, all the family’s belongings were loaded on a truck, thanks to McNeil’s pastor and the Fountain of Hope, a nonprofit organization in Atlanta.
 
Animal control took the family’s dogs after the family was evicted on Thursday. But now that the family has a new home, complete with a fenced-in yard, they will be getting their pets back. 
 
Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach was there when McNeil met her new landlord.  Though she didn’t want to speak on camera, the homeowner did give her a tour of the house.  

The family is still working to get water and air conditioning working in the home. But after seeing Channel 2 Action News at Noon on Friday, another viewer came forward, offering to work on the heating and cooling for free.  

 

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