The Sharon Osbourne Show and Real Estate-Realtor Times have teamed to provide a home for the homeless family. William and Sue Kamstra, and their children Stephanie, Kevin and Tim were first made famous by a USA Today article which illustrated that today's homeless don't necessarily fit society's stereotypes of substance abusers and schizophrenics.
Like many Americans, the Kamstras lived paycheck to paycheck, but they were able to afford a three-bedroom home on their two salaries. Their misfortune began when Sue suffered serious head injuries in a car accident. William took over as caregiver for the children, but lost his job with the Yamaha Corporation shortly thereafter. With no income, they lost their home to foreclosure.
Today, according to the Union Rescue Mission where they moved on June 30th, the Kamstras are the new face of the homeless -- people who have lost good-paying jobs, exhausted their savings, and are trying to keep their families together, and the new homeless are growing in number every day. They can also be white collar workers like the Kamstras who lost everything suddenly and catastrophically, says Dr. Ralph Plumb, director of the shelter.
Sue is still recovering, and William spends his days looking for work. Separation is the hardest part for them to handle, says the family. At the shelter, due to the shortage of transitional housing for families, William lives on the "men's" side, while Sue and the children live on the "women and children's" side."
Sharon Osbourne met the Kamstras on her new television show, The Sharon Osbourne Show, which aired September 22nd. Vowing that her show will not just be a celebrity-fest but will be about real people, too, Sharon greeted the Kamstras with enthusiastic hugs and told them "You are very brave."
"Six months ago, we had everything," William told Sharon.
Now the family has had some good news. Due to the publicity surrounding the family's situation, a company has made a job offer to William. The Sharon Osbourne Show producers found Real Estate-Realtor Times on the Internet and contacted the company to ask for assistance. What else could be done for the Kamstras?
"We had read about the Kamstra family and felt moved by their plight," says Jody Lane, founder of Real Estate-Realtor Times. "When we were contacted by the producers of the Sharon Osbourne show, we volunteered to lease a nice home for the family for a year."
Real Estate-Realtor Times' vice president of business development John Giaimo appeared on the show with Sharon, and told the surprised Kamstras that Real Estate-Realtor Times would lease them a home for one year to help the family get back on its feet.
"Forget what you think you know about homeless people," said Giaimo, after the taping. "What happened to them could happen to anybody."
Giaimo is working with Chris Baumann, Broker/owner of Red Carpet Heritage Realty and agent Griselda Ceballos to find the Kamstras a home, which is a challenge in Orange County's hot housing market.
Says Baumann, "The market is tight, but we are working on it and should have something lined for the Kamstras as soon as this week. I am so proud to be associated with the Real Estate-Realtor Times' organization, to step up as they have in lending a helping hand to the Kamstra family is such a wonderful thing.”
"Thank you, thank you, Real Estate-Realtor Times," said Sharon.