Neighbors, strangers rally to support homeless mom and her six children living in car

Posted at 7:54 AM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 20:48:21-04

DENVER – Kari Cochran has had a busy few days coordinating a small army of volunteers who are cleaning house, hanging blinds, sorting clothes and moving furniture. 

"We've got a couple couches coming, chairs, the dining room table, the beds," Cochran said. "We're moms that help other moms. That's just what we do," she said. 

Cochran said she has not slept since a friend texted her about a story that aired on Denver7 last Friday, which showed an intimate look at the frightening reality that a growing number of Colorado families are facing. 

Charice, a mother of six children, shared what her life was like sleeping, dressing, eating and living out of an SUV with nowhere else to turn.

"It's hard to do laundry and all that stuff. It's just hard," she told Denver7's Theresa Marchetta through tears. "I get looks of disgust all the time. They'll just drive by me, shaking their heads," Charice said.

Denver7 did not share Charice's last name or where they live in order to protect their privacy. 

Cochran said Charice was also private about her painful circumstances.

"She is a super mom," Cochran said, "I work with her kids at school. I never knew. They are clean, they are fed, they are dressed."

Families from the childrens' school community, even teachers and school staff, mobilized after learning the conditions Charice was living in.

Within 48 hours of seeing the story, they were scrubbing down and filling up a vacant house where the family will be able to stay rent-free for a few months. 

On Wednesday night, the family was able to move in.

Cabinets and the refrigerator have been stocked with food and supplies and the bathrooms and laundry room are full of soaps and linens.

Cochran said even total strangers donated new clothes, bedding, carpet cleaning, gift cards, yard work, a computer and WiFi to the family.

Thanks to the generosity of the community, there will be no more bundling up children for overnight walks across a parking lot to a public bathroom. The house Charice and her family are now living in has three of them.

"There's six kids that are going to be in beds tonight. Not on the street. I'm gonna cry. Yeah, they're at home," said Cochran.

Officials with Primrose Schools tell Cochran they are donating preschool care for the youngest child.

One of the schools has even set aside space for the extra donations so parents can start their own pantry.

Cochran said they are hoping to identify other families who are in need, but may not know how to ask for help.

Thanks to viewers who saw Charice's story on Denver7 and donated through, she will have more than $3,000 to help create a more stable future for her family.