After much anticipation, the Vermont Place Apartments officially opened for our 16 tenants on Monday, April 19. For many of the tenants, it would be the first night in months, and even years, that they would be able to sleep in a place of their own.

In the weeks leading up to move in day, the housing team at Talbot House worked tirelessly to secure furniture vouchers from local businesses and receive donations for our tenants. The Talbot House kitchen prepared and dropped off food boxes for each tenant—many who would be cooking for the first time in years—and continues to prepare food boxes for them as needed. A group of Talbot House residents even volunteered their time to help the new tenants unload their items and move in to their apartments.

When tenants were asked how they felt, the overall response was “grateful.” For many of these individuals, it was the next big step towards becoming self-sufficient.

“I’ve never had my own room.”

“I can’t wait to eat home cooked meals.”

“This is my first mattress in years.”

These were some of the words spoken by tenants as they moved in with bright eyes and wide smiles.

Tears were shed, laughs were shared, and new neighbors became acquainted.

During their first week in their new home, tenants received welcome baskets from Lakeland Tigertown Rotary Club and Acceptance Insurance. The welcome baskets included essentials such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, and kitchenware. We are so grateful for these thoughtful gifts that demonstrated to our tenants that the city of Lakeland is cheering them on.

Thank you to all of the donors and prayer warriors who helped us see this project through to its conclusion. We couldn’t have done this without you. Congratulations tenants and welcome home!