KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Homelessness is a chronic problem across the country and here in East Tennessee. Many of those affected are not who you might think; they're families forced out on the streets.
The Dentes family was one of those, but that has recently changed. They now have a space to call their own.
"I can wash clothes. I have a beautiful washer and dryer. I have a kitchen to cook and a bathroom where I can take my shower whenever I want," said Jessica Dentes.
Just a month after getting the keys to their new home, Jessica, 14-year-old Cassie and 5-year-old Grace are completely settled in.
"I have in my lifetime lost a lot of things, but I have gained a lot of friends. And I gained in faith. And I learned that all things can be taken from you, but the things that are important, they remain," said Jessica.
Four months ago the family of three found themselves without a roof over their heads. They moved from church to church. It was a struggle. Especailly for a teenager.
"I'm making better grades so mom is a little bit more lenient on where I go. I can hang out with my friends," said Jessica.
The 14-year-old now has her own room.
"Sometimes it's nice to be able to come in here, shut the door and listen to my music and read for a while," said Cassi.
Their time living in shelters has opened their eyes to the struggles of other.
Jessica said, "Not all of them are the dirty, drunken hobos out on the street corner, but a lot of the times they're people just like us. Sometimes are us."