FLAGSTAFF, AZ - A homeless family who launched a website asking for a dollar to help them get rent money is getting a new start.
Suzanne and Jon Kammerman launched the site asking for $1. In exchange for that dollar they give "digital" gifts like downloadable artwork or camping trips.
The family is now in a temporary home free of charge in Whitman. A Surprise couple who asked we not use their name offered the home so they could look for work and get back on their feet.
The family of seven was camping outside of Flagstaff for several weeks.
They started their journey to Arizona to relocate as a vacation. The plan was for John to start up his business while the family vacationed and visited with friends and family.
"The business didn't just snap into place and we started running out of savings," said Suzanne. The family had enough income while camping to eat and provide basic needs but not enough to save up for rent and deposits.
Their five kids range in age from 8 to 18.
With temperatures starting to cool down, they launched the site to raise money for rent a home.
"We're not looking at this as a bad experience," said Suzanne.
The kids are homeschooled and use on-line resources.
The family launched a website called Just-1-dollar.org. The site is not a non-profit and is not a charity. Suzanne said that if the site earns enough money she will try to help other families in need.
"If we took out the fact that we are homeless and just sold the gifts, I think it would work, too," she said. "I think what we are offering is definitely worth a dollar."
So far Suzanne says they raised a couple thousand dollars and she is hopeful that getting into some temporary housing will help speed up their process. She says she is hopeful Jon will be able to find better business and work opportunities.
Suzanne hasn't put a dollar figure on the minimum needed in order for her to start to pay it forward. She originally thought it would take a few thousand dollars since she said the family sold most of what they had from their Idaho home before coming here.
"It really makes you reevaluate what you need and what you don't need," said Suzanne. "The kids have learned so much and I've really watched them grow."