Elderly woman who lost husband and home in one day "adopted" by neighbors

·1 min read

Glendale, Arizona – In January of 2021, Gean LeVar's husband of 58 years died in their Glendale, Arizona, home. When police entered her home, they found such terrible living conditions that they were forced to condemn the house. In one day, she lost her husband and she became homeless.

LeVar's neighbor, Carmen Silva, barely knew LeVar when she learned that LeVar had no children or family to turn to.

"I told her, 'Don't worry Gean, we're going to fix it,'" Silva said to CBS News.

While it may appear that Silva took being neighborly to the extreme, she didn't see it that way.

"I've always taught my kids to take care of their elders," Silva said.

So, even though the Silvas live in a small three-bedroom house with eight children, they made room for one more. The boys gave up their bed to sleep on the couch, eagerly welcoming their new adopted grandmother.

"She looks very happy, and I believe it's because she has a whole family now," Silva said.

LeVar said her new family "means everything."

After LeVar was taken in by the Silvas, the nonprofit group Operation Enduring Gratitude – which helps Arizona veterans and their families – heard about her plight. Since LeVar's husband was a Navy veteran, volunteers went full speed ahead to renovate her old house.

"We're all joining together to do one thing, and that's to make somebody's life whole," one of the volunteers said.

LeVar's house is condemned no more, and she plans to share it with the Silvas, because that's what families do.

To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com

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