Family homeless on Christmas

 NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. – Inside a small motel room, with two small beds sits a family of three on Sunday afternoon. It’s Christmas, little Robert’s second; a very playful baby, his parents couldn’t wait to see him open up all of his presents Christmas morning.

“We were really excited about this Christmas; this was the first year we could get him toys and really watch him enjoy them,” Robert Bentley said.

 All of the gifts had been wrapped and placed neatly under the tree and their home, but now all of that is gone.

Bentley said, “It was tough waking up here today, you know the tree and the presents, it’s tough.”

There are no decorations where they are at now; the only lights outside are the red letters that shine “vacancy.” Christmas in a hotel was not the picture perfect holiday celebration the family had hoped for. “Just going to be the three of us, open our gifts and put his toys together,” Jessica Bahney said.

On the morning of Christmas Eve, an electrical fire started in the family’s home. The couple, their son and their new puppy, Ellie May were all able to escape, but everything inside was destroyed, including baby Robert’s presents.

“There was so much smoke damage and soot everywhere, nothing is salvageable,” Bahney said.

The Red Cross set the family up at a motel in town, Bahney said, “Today is really depressing really, spending Christmas at a hotel.”

Still, they tried to celebrate. Family and friends brought whatever gifts they could spare to the motel for little Robert.

“We’re just fortunate, we’re glad everybody is safe and he’s certainly happy,” Bentley said.

The couple said they will start to worry on Monday, but for today, their biggest concern is making sure baby Robert has a second Merry Christmas.

The family only has the motel room for a week, and then they have to find a place of their own. Both work in North Webster and would like to stay in the area. Anyone who is able and willing to help, please send Rachel Glaser an email [email protected] for the family’s contact information. 

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