Neighbor stories

Denver Neighbors Rally to Pay Rent of a Family in Need

Written by Danielle Styskal

Jenna Hawkins, of the Historic Montclair neighborhood in Denver, often saw a man standing on the corner of a major intersection picking up garbage and making small talk with passersby.

She started to take regular walks in the area where she saw the man, and spent a few months getting to know him.

The man’s name was Cedric, and he and his family of nine were down on their luck. Unable to work due to illness, he and his wife, daughters, son-in-law, and grandchildren were living in a local, nightly motel – surrounded by violence and drugs. He had saved up enough money for the deposit on a more permanent living situation for his family, but without a job and credit history, couldn’t secure a place to rent.

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Cedric and Jenna Hawkins

Jenna thought Cedric seemed like a nice guy who just needed some help, so she created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family. Her goal was to raise $20,000 to pay for a year of rent. She posted the link on Facebook to friends and family, and received some donations, but realized she needed to reach the people who would know and recognize Cedric.

She turned to Nextdoor to share the GoFundMe link with her neighborhood and seven nearby neighborhoods and was blown away by the response. Within one month of starting the campaign, the community had raised enough money to move Cedric and his family into their own home.

Then, neighbors started donating items to fill the house and ultimately furnished the entire home, including beds for all nine family members.

But the neighbors didn’t stop there. As the weeks and months ticked by, donations kept rolling in, and the community has now raised $20,400 for Cedric’s family.

With a stable place to live, Cedric and his wife have been able to return to work and are helping to contribute to their monthly rent payments.

Originally reported by The Denver Post.

Do you have a story about how you have used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.


  • This is absolutely the sweetest thing I think I’ve ever seen! Thank you for publishing *uplifting* news! These good neighbor stories almost always bring tears to my eyes. 🙂

  • So so awesome to read such a heart warming story when so much in the news today is the opposite. Thank you for helping us know that there are still so many people who have compassion for others. Brought tears to my eyes! Love love this story! ?

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