A mother of two, and employee at Dunkin,’ was surprised with a fully furnished apartment after she and her family faced an eviction.
Burke figured something was wrong when she noticed Johnson hadn’t worked at the drive-thru for a few weeks in March 2020. Johnson had been evicted that month. When she returned to work, she shared with Burke that her family needed to find housing.
“I wanted to give up,” Johnson told Today. “I cried. I come to work every day and nobody knows what I’m going through because I always try to have a smile for our customers.”
Burke, who has a background in social service work, offered to help. She reached out to different businesses and organizations to get Johnson the support she needed.
Her generosity paid off. After 21 months without permanent housing, Johnson and her family moved into their very own apartment on Dec. 3. Before then, they were living house-to-house with different family members and in cramped conditions.
“Oh my God, it was so amazing, I just busted out crying,” Johnson recalled. “I never had a full furnished house. I never had help like this. I had been asking God to put us in a home before Christmas, and He really did. I’m just so thankful.”
“It was so exciting, we all cried,” Burke told Today. “I’ve got three kids, and I can’t imagine not having a home to go to and then to have to get up, get the kids to school, and show up at work with a positive, happy attitude? I’ve been in awe of her.”
Burke enlisted the help of Design to Market to furnish the home. The real estate staging company owned by her friend, Jo Potvin, donated the majority of the furniture. New Life Furniture Bank, a Cincinnati-based furniture bank, also helped to design the two-bedroom apartment.
Johnson can now enjoy the holidays with her children from the comfort of their own home.
“Last year we didn’t wake up to nothing,” she said. “It was depress and stress. This year is going to be good because we’re in our home. I get to cook in my own kitchen for my kids.”