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How one homeless family beat the odds this holiday season

NEW YORK -- As most Americans across the country ring in the holiday from the warmth of their homes, there are many families not as fortunate, living in homeless shelters.

Homelessness is a growing problem, affecting more children than ever before. It's estimated there are more than one million children who are without homes nationwide.

But one mother and her children are lucky enough to have finally found a place to call home, thanks to small program having a big impact.

Tisha Houser's new apartment is a work in progress. She doesn't have furniture yet, but she has a Christmas tree and a permanent place to live for herself and three kids.

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"The last year has been pretty amazing, pretty amazing," Houser said. Before moving into her new apartment, her family spent nearly two years living in one of New York City's homeless shelters after a domestic abuse situation.

"It wasn't easy, but we stuck together," Houser said.

"All kinds of families experience homelessness," said Ellen Baxter, founder of Broadway Housing Communities, an organization that has worked to create affordable housing in New York for more than 30 years.

The organization's seventh building, Sugar Hill, opened with 124 units a year ago. More than 48,000 people applied in hopes of getting an apartment.

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"I think here, we've crafted a model for other cities around the nation and our own city," Baxter said.

The building is supported by a combination of federal funding and investments from big corporations that, in turn, get tax breaks. It combines housing with cultural and educational elements like a children's museum and a pre-school.

Houser says her children have a much brighter future now with a solid roof over their heads at Sugar Hill.

While her family is grateful to have made it to a permanent home, the struggle continues in the world's wealthiest nation, where one million more kids are not so lucky.

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