The winter weather posed even more of a danger to the family of nine from Kansas City, Missouri, who are living without heat and hot water. On Monday, Jessica Harvey, her husband and their seven kids circled around a space heater for warmth as they pondered how to protect themselves from subzero temperatures.
"I just hope we don't freeze, we don't get frostbite and that no none gets overly sick," Jessica said in an interview with WDAF-TV before the storm hit.
The Missouri mom said her family moved into their current rental home in 2015.
Admittedly, Jessica said she fell behind on rent payments, adding a cervical cancer diagnosis in 2017 contributed to her financial issues. However, she told WDAF that she's been making the reduced payments agreed upon by her leasing company. She's reported the broken furnace and leaky pipes but no one has come to repair them.
The family's "heartbreaking" story spread throughout the community after it aired on WDAF Monday night.
The next day, the Harveys were overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.
"So many people saw the story … and just started knocking on my door and reaching out to me on Facebook," Jessica told the news station, "Some wanted to bring us blankets. Others food, and one lady said she could help us get into a new home."
One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, even offered to pay for a hotel room for the week. Jessica graciously accepted the generous offer.
"They were jumping up and down, just so excited," she described.
A local restaurant, Peachtree Buffet, delivered some hot meals to the family on Tuesday.
"After seeing the story, it was just heartbreaking. By doing our part, you know, that's what it's all about. Just giving back and making sure we're looking our for our people," Derrick Wilmore, who works at the establishment, told WDAF.
Kansas City residents were proud their community stepped up to help a family in need.
"Restores my faith in humanity some," one Facebook user commented on the story.
"I love a happy ending!" another wrote.
"That's what I'm talking about! My city CAN be good and treat people right. I'm so proud of you all let's keep it up. Let's take care of OUR city right now not worry about anything else for 1 month," a third added.
It was about minus 5 degrees in Kansas City Wednesday morning. In the early evening, the temperature was in the single digits — hovering around 7 degrees.