Organizations adapt to serve homeless at Christmas


Samantha Kiger never imagined her daughters would not have presents under a tree to open at Christmas. But after the family member they were living with died of COVID-19, she and her girls have become homeless ahead of the holiday.  

Now placed in a Roseville Microtel Inn, Krieger along with 7-year-old Heaven and 5-year-old Angel Trombley, are working to see the bright side. 

“I haven’t been able to even buy a Christmas tree because I can’t afford it, so for me that part is sad for them,” Kiger said Friday as her girls received a gift delivery from Santa through the Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team’s Christmas event. 

“Santa coming early was kind of almost a blessing because my five-year-old daughter didn’t even believe Santa existed until today.”

Ember Oglesby, 4, and mother Katie are happy to pull out an Elsa doll, from the movie "Frozen" from bags of presents.

For members of the homeless community, the holiday season can be a challenge, but many organizations regularly step up to offer meals, gifts and gatherings for friends and loved ones, just like any family would host. 

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into these plans. Presents for children in homeless shelters will not be placed under a tree for them to grab freely at a party; instead they will be packaged and delivered. Support organizations that would host large holiday parties are either holding multiple smaller gatherings to accommodate a 10-person limit or skipping them entirely. 


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