A resident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was walking in Love Park when they noticed a toddler wandering around all alone. Reacting as most of us would, they immediately contacted police to help locate the child’s parents and to get the boy to safety. Unfortunately, police were shocked when they learned the devastating reason the young boy had been alone, and it will surely put the our lives in perspective.
The toddler, Jeremiah Jones, was first seen on Friday night by a resident, who flagged down a SEPTA transit officer for help. The boy had been found “wearing a green, long sleeve shirt, black running pants with a white stripe down the sides. He had on a diaper, but no shoes or socks,” according to WPVI.
The transit officer contacted fire medics to assist him with the young boy. Eventually, they took him to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for evaluation, where he would later be admitted. Shortly after police were involved, the boy’s parents, Angelique Roland and Michael Jones, had notified police that their son was missing.
The devastating part of this story is that this particular family of four is actually homeless. They had attempted to stay in a shelter to no avail and had found a safe place to sleep — behind cardboard walls under the Welcoming Center For New Pennsylvanians in Love Park.
“If I had somewhere to go, I would be there,” said Roland. “I am not out here on the streets with my kids on purpose.”
The parents explained to police that the boy must have wondered off after they all had fallen asleep. “Somehow he crawled past the bags over top of us and walked out,” said Jones. It wouldn’t seem that it would be easy for a toddler to escape his parents watch, but anything is possible, considering their difficult circumstances.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that Jones and Roland are currently homeless, the 2-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister have been placed with DHS and will not be returned to their parents’ custody until the parents have a roof over their heads.
Both parents are ready to make a change and to find a safe and secure home to make their family complete again. “I don’t care what kind of work I get. If anybody out there got work for me, call you,” said Jones.
“Anyone in this Love Park or know me and my husband will vouch that we are very good parents to our kids,” explained Roland.