Family tries getting new home for Christmas - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family tries getting new home for Christmas

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

An eastern Iowa family is trying to be in their new home by Christmas.

Natalie Bell and her family were in the process of remodeling a home they bought when their rental property started on fire.

Fortunately, everyone made it out, but the last few months have been hectic.

Nail by nail and board by board, Tim Combs with Americans for Independent Living has been working to get Air Force Veteran Natalie Bell and her family in their new home for Christmas after their rental property burned in October.

"Watching everything you thought was important melting, and there's not a darn thing you can do about it is a hard task or topic to watch or happen without being helpless. There's nothing you can do," Bell said.

Natalie, her significant other, and their three children have been living in a hotel room ever since.

"That's been a challenge with five of us in a little bitty hotel room. The first couple of weeks, it was great. The kids were like, this is swimming, and we have breakfast every morning. Now, they don't want to swim, and they're kind of over the breakfast," Bell said.

While Tim Combs and other Americans for Independent Living volunteers have been working on Natalie's home, they haven't been able to work on their East 9th Street project in Waterloo, to get homeless veterans back on their feet.

This project was supposed to be done earlier this month, and Natalie says she is forever grateful.

"To be honest, it doesn't really feel a whole lot like Christmas yet. That's all I want for Christmas, is to be here. That would be the greatest gift ever," Natalie said.

Natalie said they were recently allowed back in their rental home to salvage what they could, but even few of the things that didn't burn were missing.

Right now, Natalie said she's just focused on getting the plumbing and electricity working in their new home, so can finally move to their new home.

Americans for Independent Living Director Tim Combs said he could use some help with the work they're doing.

If you'd like to help, you can click here.

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