A Philadelphia toddler was found wandering barefoot in a park Friday night and it’s drawing attention to the housing crisis for homeless people in the city.
A 2-year-old was discovered walking around LOVE Park without any shoes, and his story has tugged at heartstrings.
Now a ministry within the city, CHOSEN 300, announced a campaign to provide housing one year to the parents of the Philadelphia toddler found wandering around. The organization has launched a $12,000 campaign to provide housing for one year to the child’s whole family.
NBC News reports that the toddler was found wandering barefoot by a passerby on Friday at around 11:50 p.m. Witnesses alerted police when they saw the young boy wearing a green long-sleeved shirt and black pants. The boy was reportedly scared and upset when he was found. Authorities took him to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for evaluation.
It wasn’t long after the toddler was found wandering around that his parents reported him missing. The parents told police that they were kicked out of a place they were staying Friday night and forced to find somewhere to stay until they could find a place, so they settled at LOVE Park. The family also had a 4-year-old girl with them, the boy’s sister.
The little boy wandered off when his parents drifted off to sleep. It was suspected that noises of skateboards made him curious since he’s known to love them.
When the boy was found, the parents were still asleep.
According to the report, the Philadelphia toddler who was found wandering, and his sister, are in DHS custody. So far, there aren’t any charges being filed against the parents, but the investigation is ongoing.
Heartbreaking: Barefoot Toddler Found Wandering In Park- Homeless Parents Forced to Sleep In Cardboard Shelter « CBS http://t.co/AFODVq1YvS
— Lisa Guerrero (@4lisaguerrero) October 19, 2015
The toddler’s father, Michael Jones, told CBS Philly that his son pushed open the box they were in and began walking on rocks barefoot. He tells the news station that he doesn’t care if DHS takes the kids as long as they’re alive. He went on to say that “God works in mysterious ways” and that “maybe this will benefit us in the long run.”
Prior to when the Philadelphia toddler was found wandering around, he was with his family behind cardboard walls that were under the city’s Welcome Center, ABC 6 reports.
CHOSEN 300 is an inter-denominational ministry that has served more than 150,000 meals a year to the homeless in Center City, West Philadelphia, and Pottstown. When they heard about the toddler found wandering around in the park, they announced a plan to help the boy and his family.
A spokeswoman for the organization revealed more about the plans to help this family in a press release.
“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.”
Executive Director of CHOSEN 300 Brian Jenkins said what happened to this toddler doesn’t mean that the boy has bad parents — it means that they don’t have what they need in order to survive.
The Philadelphia toddler found wandering has put a spotlight on the hardships many families go through and how it involves children as well.
[Photo Credit: CHOSEN 300]