For the first time, dozens of Minneapolis kids are tucked into their very own beds. Just last night, some of them slept on couches. Others curled up on the floor.
Shamara Martin has eight kids and a grandson. She says her family got bigger when a group of volunteers delivered six beds Saturday morning.
"These people came out here, my kids fell in love," Martin said. "They fit in right along with my kids. We've been playing and having fun. This is amazing."
The volunteers are from the national non-profit Sleep in Heavenly Peace. They spent hours going door-to-door before reaching Martin's home, which was the last stop. In total, they delivered 50 beds.
"The beds are handmade with love," said Nate Miller from the organization's South Metro Chapter. "We have build days where volunteers gather and we build as many as 68 beds in one day."
Sleep in Heavenly Peace has chapters in Burnsville and White Bear Lake. This was its first blitz in Minneapolis.
"We believe every kid deserves a bed to sleep in," Miller said. "So they can wake up in a warm, safe, comfortable bed and be the best that they can be."
The group partnered with Pillsbury United Communities to find exactly 50 kids in need. While doing so, Pillsbury discovered something unexpected.
"Within the past week, I've received about 16,000 phone calls," Pillsbury family advocate JT Harney said. "There's a huge furniture crisis. Furniture is expensive. Low-income families have kids sleeping eight to a bed, five kids on a couch. I'm hoping that this kind of brings awareness to the issue that us as Pillsbury United Communities didn't even know existed."
This time, they had to stick with the plan of 50 beds, with six set up in Martin's home. Thanks to donations, mattresses and bedding were included. Lowe's also sold lumber and tools and at-cost.
"I'm a single mom," Martin said. "It's kind of hard when you're trying to get bedding and stuff for all your children."
Her 13-year-old son Dominic Gray slept on the couch before.
"He had a twin-size bed but his kind of collapsed on him," she said "I want to tell them thank you. I appreciate that they came out here."
"I'll get to have my own space," Gray added.
Martin says she plans to pay it forward.
"I'm willing to volunteer and go wherever they need to go to help other families," she said. "I can go help drill those beds in and put the beds up."