Daeyr Neely and his mom had been homeless for several years, after which they bounced around different shelter homes.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 30, 2022. It has since been updated.
Many of us don't recall the first time we slept in our own bed. It's easy to forget what life may be like without this experience since for many of us, it's something we take for granted. However, not everyone is as fortunate in life. This little child in Detroit had the opportunity to sleep in his own bed for the first time, and his reaction was priceless. Daeyr Neely and his mom had been homeless for several years, after which they moved around different shelter homes, reported NBC. Since Daeyr was a toddler, he has not had a bed to call his own, but after the intervention of Humble Design, a nonprofit aimed at reducing homelessness, Daeyr finally got this wish of his!
Meet 8-year-old Daeyr Neely, who went viral after the world saw his emotional reaction to getting a brand new bed. via @nbcnightlynews pic.twitter.com/eTfEahVWKM— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 13, 2018
The video with his response to looking at his own bed for the first time was extremely heartwarming. The video begins with Daeyr entering the bedroom and noticing the bed. His eyes widen and his mouth lowers in real disbelief for the first few moments. His reaction becomes even more intense as he realizes that this bed is truly his. He seemed to be having difficulty processing this gift, and as it settles in, he begins to cry. Daeyr covers his face with his hands and turns to receive a hug, his shoulders quivering with emotion. "It's all for you, Sweetie," his mother can be heard saying.
Dionna Neely, Daeyr's mom, lost her job and their home as a result, back when he was just 2 years old. The family entered a Detroit shelter after spending several years on the streets. The goal was to eventually receive city funding for public housing, but getting there would take time. For Daeyr, the transfer into the shelter was not a simple one. Dionna revealed that the shift presented him with challenges they hadn't anticipated. “He started to have a little trouble in school, once we moved to the shelter. But I explained to him that we had to do this in order to get our own home,” she said.
The family was eventually able to leave the shelter and move into their own house after some time there. It was a significant transition for the family and signaled a change in fortune. The family did not, however, have everything they required, regardless of how lovely it felt to finally have their own roof over their heads. They had very little to work with when it came to buying furnishings and furniture for their new home. Daeyr didn't have a bed for the first few months, so he slept on piles of blankets.
When Humble Design, a nonprofit organization that aims to reduce homelessness in various locations around the nation, learned about the Neely family's difficulties, they wanted to step in. They realized that furnishing their new house would go a long way toward assisting them. The Neely family received free furnishing and decoration for every room in their new home. The furniture was given as a gift by neighborhood residents. A significant change was made by decorating the house, which gave it a sense of home, and Daeyr got his own bed for the first time in years, giving him a memory that would last forever.