Story of EMU student who lives in grandma's van goes viral

Ramone Harris was homeless, until his story made its way online. Now, he's apartment hunting.

- Many college students know the struggle of balancing school and work but few know the one an EMU student had to go through: being homeless.

For Eastern Michigan University Senior Ramone Williams making his way through college has been no easy task. He's said he's felt like quitting before but not because of grades or the classload was too much. Williams has to do his best to plan each and every step of his day because he's homeless. 

"I know where I'm going to take a shower. I know where I'm going to set up my laptop," Williams said.

Despite his homelessness, Williams pulled a 3.4 GPA as a senior and worked two part-time jobs.

After taking a break from school to care for his sick grandmother he promised her that he would go back and finish college. But with little money he says he had to decide between paying tuition and having a place to live. That's when his grandmother's van became his home on campus

"If I could save $500 to $600 in rent by having grandmother's vehicle I can make do," he said.

Victoria Burton-Harris sits on the board for Covenant House Michigan, an organization that helps young people who do not have a place to live. She heard about Ramone's story and decided to set a GoFundMe account.

"Within a day, the goal of $10,000 had already been met and was well on it's way to 15 or 20,000," Burton-Harris said.

With so many donations Ramone felt this was more than enough and requested that he not receive any more money. But he wants people who still would like to donate to send money to EMU's Magic Program, which helps students who are homeless or have experienced foster care. Ramone says it helped him but the program is underfunded.

After people heard Ramone's call to help the program, things are changing. This week, the program got $40,000 in pledges.

Ramone says he is looking for apartments and believes his future is bright and hope he inspires others to never give up

"I got it from grandmother. No matter what she would stay true to her heard and trudge through and do what you love," Williams said.

Want more information on EMU's MAGIC Program? Click here to help out.

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