Barefoot And Homeless, Child Lost In Philadelphia Night
He was barefoot, his little feet bruised from rocks as he wandered Philadelphia, alone in the dark of night. It all started when the two-year-old slipped away from his parents, Angelique Roland, 27, and Michael Jones, 24, as they lay sleeping among cardboard boxes, under the city’s Welcome Center.
The missing child was yet one more hardship for the homeless family. They have no safe place to protect them from the elements and a buffeting world. Cardboard boxes do not come with security locks.
When the toddler’s parents awoke, they immediately reported their missing son to the police. Jones speculated that their boy woke up to the sound of skateboarders and went to explore.
Like many families, this couple was faced with rents they couldn’t afford and over-crowded shelters. So, they ended up sleeping in a park, ironically Love Park. Philadelphia has a housing crisis for its homeless children and adults. Roland told WPVI News:
“If I had somewhere to go, I would be there. I am not out here on the streets with my kids on purpose.”
CHOSEN 300 is an inter-denominational advocacy ministry that helps homeless families. The nonprofit launched a campaign to help the toddler’s family. CHOSEN 300 served more than 150,000 meals per year to the homeless population. The organization’s Executive Director Brian Jenkins commented on its goal for the child’s family:
“CHOSEN 300 has launched a campaign to raise $12,000 IN 12 DAYS to secure housing for this family for 1-year. In addition, our staff will be working with the family to provide case management, money management and social services to move them toward self-sufficiency. We know this family as they have come to our mission often to receive meals. We have witnessed their love and care for their two children, but have fallen on hard times.”
After this story came out, the toddler’s family received a number of job offers. Philadelphia is not alone with its homeless children, individuals, and families problem. Nearly one-quarter of a million adults and children in U.S. families werehomeless in 2014. That is larger than the entire population of Des Moines, Iowa.
This little guy wandering off doesn’t mean his parents are bad – they just don’t have what is necessary for their survival. That is our problem.