Waitress gets Christmas surprise from impressed patron

- It's going to be a very Merry Christmas for one local waitress.

Her hard work paid off when one customer recognized a job well done.

She now has a home for the holidays.

LaNia Stribling says a medical condition forced her to take time off work...

She got evicted from her apartment when she could not pay the rent.

She and her family had to call a hotel room home.

"This was the best place, the cheapest place, the safest place," she said.

LaNia says she pays $60 a day and relies on tip money she earns as a waitress at a local restaurant to help her pay for the daily charges.

But after a chance encounter with a real estate agent who was dining at the restaurant, LaNia's luck was about to change.

"I was having breakfast and I was impressed with LaNia's service," Jaye Sanders said. "I said I'm going to give you a huge tip and she said can I get my tip in cash because if you use your credit card I won't get it until pay day and I need the cash to pay for my hotel room."

And that's when LaNia's customer gave her some good news.

"I said today is your lucky day, I'm a real estate broker and I have to find you a home," Sanders said.

After searching, Sanders found a broker who was able to relax his credit standards to get LaNia, her mother and her son into a 3-bedroom house on Detroit west side.

"She called me at work and told me that she had found me a house," LaNia saod. "I'll be paying $640 a month for the house, which is three to four times cheaper than what I'm spending now."

LaNia says St. Vincent de Paul is paying her security deposit and Sanders is also helping out.

"We're doing her first month's rent. We're giving her Christmas dinner. We have some toys from Santa," Sanders said.

As the New Year approaches, LaNia says she can't believe this is happening and is thankful to have an affordable place to call home.

"It's a beginning start for something new to build on," LaNia said.


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