Family shelter resident: "It makes you more thankful for what you got."

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Whether you're with family or friends today, Thanksgiving is a day to appreciate what we have even if it's not much. The S-Street House is a shelter where families stay when they have no where else to go. Action News talked to one family who lost almost everything, and they're still giving back to others.

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball at the worst time, just ask Joe Willis.

"I wasn't here more than two weeks when I was defunded with my job for the city of Union Gap so I had no money and no place to live and that time became really stressful," said Sunrise Outreach Community Development Director Joe Willis.

Resulting in transitional housing for his wife and five kids. They came to the S Street House six months ago under the worst of circumstances.

"We never had to worry about these things but when everything is lost it makes you look at things in a different perspective it makes you more thankful for what you got," said Joe.

His wife agrees.

"Being here has really opened my eyes to that because I was thankful before but now I could have lost all of it and I did lose all of it," said Connie Willis.

Taking that mindset to heart, Joe and Connie are now reaching out to people in similar situations. Recently, Connie started managing the housing. Doing so has allowed her to give a helping hand to the less fortunate.

"It's just nice that we're able to be together you know be there for the other families and help them out the best we can," she said.

Folks here tell me Joe and Connie's story gives them the inspiration to continue on.

"It does help a lot when you can relate and see that you're here with them and you're not somebody that walks out of the facility when the light go off and they've got the fend for themselves," said Joe.

It's the family's first Thanksgiving here at this transitional home, and they are just thankful to be together and helping others.

"We've always wanted to have a really big Thanksgiving with other people that maybe didn't have a place to go. That's always been our heart. My ultimate goal is that my children learn that there are other people that are always in need, we always need to be giving to them. If we don't have much, we still give to them and bless them and help them out," said Connie.

There are still a few more rooms available at the S street home for families in need. For more information on shelter housing or if you would like to donate, just go to