Volunteers spread Christmas cheer to Montgomery County families who lost their homes to Ida

Cara Coless says the biggest challenge for the families is the lack of affordable housing in Montgomery County.
COLLEGEVILLE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It's been nearly four months since tropical storm Ida left her mark on the Delaware Valley. The storm caused massive flooding, leaving hundreds of families still out of their homes because of the damage.

On Christmas Eve, dozens of volunteers came together to spread holiday cheer and make sure the families felt Christmas joy.



Volunteers showed up with baked goods, casseroles, and gifts in hand, ready to help the families who lost everything from Ida.

"It broke my heart to know there wasn't anything planned for those people and to not have something to look forward to for Christmas," said Cara Coless, supervisor of Lower Providence Township and organizer of the event.

Families told Action News they were grateful to have a home-cooked meal and appreciated all of the people who made the luncheon happen.

Games and toys are great, but for 13-year-old Keyon Wright, he can't wait to be back living in a house. Home for him this Christmas is a hotel.

"I do want to go back to a house. I just don't want to be in a hotel that much. A hotel is fun, but I prefer a house," Wright said.

His family has been in four hotels since Ida hit, just like all the other families who attended the gathering.

"We lost everything.... it was what 44 minutes from the time it came into the house until we were up to our armpits we had to be rescued by boat," said Linda Gallo from Collegeville.

Coless says the biggest challenge for the families is the lack of affordable housing in Montgomery County. She said a lot of the families are working and have jobs, but there's little to no inventory of affordable homes.

She adds caseworkers have been assigned to each family to help them find housing and move forward, but it could take them several more months to get into a full-time home.

Wright told Action News he wants to wish all of the families impacted by Ida a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.