EAST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Crystabel thought she was going for a job interview.

Instead, the homeless mother of two walked into a dream Saturday. But it was all very real.

Crystabel (she didn’t want her last name used) walked into an apartment in East Hollywood and was greeted by a dozen strangers.

When they screamed “Welcome home!” she looked puzzled and she wasn’t pretending.

The group banded together to give this homeless woman the gift — a surprise on top of it — of a lifetime: Her own apartment, rent-free for six months.

Earlier this year, Crystabel lost her job, then her home and then lost custody of her two young girls.

The group wanted to give her the chance to rebuild her life.

She was stunned — almost silent — by the kindness of strangers.

“I was homeless and now I’m not,” she said.

Through tears, she told CBS2’s Joy Benedict, “I’m very lucky to get help like this. It’s unbelievable and thank you everybody. I really appreciate it. I just needed this. And … and, wow.”

The fundraising effort was spearheaded by Mytchell Mora, a producer.

He met Crystabel a few weeks ago. She was living in a borrowed truck for the past six months.

“We’re Americans,” he said, “We help people. That’s what we do.”

Mora reached out to his friends who all pitched in to help — food, furnishings, bath items.

Crystabel told Benedict she studied accounting and can do accounts payable and receivable.

She said the strangers gave her something even better than than the $1,200 a month apartment — they gave her hope.


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