Former homeless mom with kids celebrate Xmas

SYLMAR, Calif. Christmas morning at the Rabago house looked just like many other homes around Southern California -- several gifts, big smiles and plenty of excitement.

But for the Rabago family, Christmas is much more than opening presents around the Christmas tree.

"I was homeless for a year-and-a-half," said Lynn Rabago.

Lynn, a mother of four, was on the street two years ago. She was was forced to live on the streets when her husband refused to pay child support. Last Christmas she was in a shelter.

"It was small, but nice, I mean we had a tree," said Ms. Rabago.

"She hung up some decorations, and wanted to make sure that we had fun," said Joey Rabago.

"It was pretty hard, because I thought we weren't going to have a great Christmas, because we were moving from place to place," said Gabe Rabago.

But with help from a group called L.A. Family Housing, a few months ago, she was able to secure an apartment in Sylmar, and have Christmas at home.

"I worked so hard to be where I'm at, and I'm here, and it's wonderful," said Ms. Rabago.

"And now we have a really good Christmas because we have a house, and tree, even though it's not very big, it's about bringing the family together," said Gabe Rabago. "So that's what I like about Christmas."

It was a modest Christmas, but there were gifts for all four kids. And there was also a gift from each one of the kids for their mom.

"And they were so excited to give their mom a gift because she worked very hard for the year-and-a-half that she was homeless to give them stability," said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, L.A. Family Housing. "They appreciate that and recognize the blessing of being in their own home this Christmas."

That is something many take for granted, but not this family.

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