This Christmas, one local family has a lot to be thankful for after local organizations pitch in to give them an unexpected gift.
Leslie Pitts never expected to be homeless for Christmas, but after being down on her luck, she found herself living in the Panama City Rescue Mission with her 16 year old daughter until she could figure things out.
"I went to Rescue Mission about two and half weeks ago," Pitts says, "I had lost my rental and they took me in basically."
Luckily, her employer, O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as well as several community organizations pitched in to help her out.
Officials with the Rescue Mission ensured she was able to sign a lease for her new apartment at Pinehurst Gardens in Lynn Haven, they helped her fully furnish the new home.
"I receive a phone call and all of a sudden - here you're gonna get your apartment furnished head to toe and everything," Pitts recalls. "I was happy to have the apartment, just get the keys and I don't care sleeping on the floor, I was happy to have it.
"When we get them out of the shelter, then we try to get them into functioning again," says Rescue Mission director and Reverend Billy Fox. "If they have no furniture they go to the thrift store. It took a lot of agencies working together, we're a cooperative effort to get it done."
For Pitts, the move is an unexpected gift she's incredibly excited for.
"There are good people out there that are willing to help and I didn't know that. It's the biggest thing that I've gotten from everybody. I had my own way of thinking about the Rescue Mission before I even got there and now I have a totally different thought about them, they're really good people in there, yeah."
In addition to helping move into the fully furnished apartment, an anonymous donor paid for Pitt's tuition to finish nursing school.