Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
peejay

Children taken from family because they are poor.

19 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: Country: Belarus
Timeline

Home is where their hearts are

For years, a family just scraping by has lived in a storage unit. Now CPS has taken away their six children

By ANITA HASSAN

HOUSTON CHRONICLE

July 6, 2011, 11:25PM

Tucked behind an iron gate at the end of a long gravel driveway in east Houston sits a small storage shed.

Outside, the corrugated steel structure is identical to the 76 others next to it, but the inside holds more than someone's possessions.

It is a home.

Inside the 12-by-25-foot shed are hand-built shelves where children's clothes are folded neatly next to canned goods, boxes of cereal and a stack of family photos. On another shelf, beside two king-size beds, textbooks lie next to board games.

Despite the cramped conditions, it overflows with love, said Charlomane Leonard, 35, as she stood in front of the shed that she, her husband, Prince Leonard, and six children have called home for years.

"That's what makes it comfortable," she said.

But to Child Protective Services, the shed is an unsafe environment for the children. After receiving a phone call about the Leonards' living conditions, agency caseworkers removed the couple's children last month.

The Leonards said their children were safe and happy and felt they were targeted by the agency because they are poor.

CPS spokeswoman Gwen Carter said poverty was not an issue and that the agency does not remove children from their parents' custody based on the family's economic circumstances, but on other factors such as unsafe living environments, abuse and neglect.

"You could live in a mansion and be in an unsafe living environment," Carter said. "It's not the place as much as it was the circumstances."

She said the agency uses removal only as a last resort, and that caseworkers try to help parents in need find ways to provide safe living conditions for their children. Carter said CPS was committed to helping the Leonards.

Hearing set for August

Prince Leonard and his wife said CPS caseworkers made one three-hour visit to their home and removed the children immediately.

"They didn't ask us if we needed help or anything," Charlomane Leonard said. "They just said, 'You can stay here, but your children can't.' "

Carter referred further questions to the court where the Leonards' case is being heard. No one at the court returned calls for comment Wednesday. The family is scheduled to appear in court again in August.

The agency, which was granted temporary custody of the children June 30, has placed them with their maternal grandparents. The Leonards are allowed to visit their children for only six hours a week, according to the couple.

"I really miss them," Charlomane Leonard said. "I'm used to being with them all day every day."

The couple has struggled to make ends meet since they married 14 years ago. Their situation got worse about four years ago, when they were living in an apartment in northeast Houston.

Prince Leonard, who now works as a welder, said the family was forced to move out of the crime-ridden apartment complex after he was hurt while working at a discount warehouse, and the couple could no longer afford the rent.

The family lived for a while in their pickup, parking in the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital overnight, where security guards made them feel safe. They then resided at a Star of Hope shelter for three months before moving into the storage unit in the 12000 block of McNair, where they were already storing some of their belongings.

While it's small and can seem crowded, the Leonards said the storage shed is the safest place they've lived in a long time. Prince Leonard said management is aware the family lives there, as are others who rent space at the facility.

"No one can get in and no one can get out without the remote," Charlomane Leonard, a stay-at-home mom, said as she pointed to the automatic gate at the front entry.

The couple said they have done their best to turn the shed into a suitable living environment for their children — Sabrina, 12; Prince Leonard II, 10; Raheem, 8; Saleem, who turns 7 today; Abdullah, 4; and 2-year-old Jamil.

Prince Leonard built all the shelving and a makeshift loft. There's a refrigerator, an air conditioner and wood-burning heater. On land behind the storage units, the children and their mother plant a garden every summer, harvesting squash, tomatoes, okra and peppers.

Lacking in the shed is running water, but Prince Leonard fills a 55-gallon barrel daily from a spigot at the end of the storage lot so the family can take baths. They fill jugs of drinking water at grocery stores and use a "compost" toilet, Charlomane Leonard said.

Plan to rent a house

The older children are enrolled at Texas Connections Academy, a Houston Independent School District online school. The shed is also furnished with two computers, one on loan from the school, Charlomane Leonard said.

The couple said none of their children has ever gotten less than a B in school, and they hope all of them can attend college.

"That just speaks volumes about the kind of people we are," Prince Leonard said. Around the time they moved into the shed, the couple were able to buy land in Liberty County where they planned to build a home.

They've had troubles getting a loan to build the home while also paying for the land. Now, they will use the money to rent a house.

"We were building ourselves up and trying to get out of the hole," Prince Leonard said. "That's their (children's) future we've been working hard for."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7642602.html


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline

while out of the ordinary in the way of residence, what exactly is detrimental to the children in this environment?


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Egypt
Timeline

Pretty sad, this might not have been the ideal place that you want to see children live but sounds to me like all of their needs were being met.....why are homeless people allowed to keep their children living from one shelter to the next if what these people did was so dangerous for their children.....seems to me they had a home and all they needed........

just my opinion

sara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Timeline

Holy #######. So six kids and two adults living in a storage unit, basically the size of my living room, which is meant to house articles and not humans. Come on. If my parental concern was for the children then they would have been living with their grandparents ages ago while I worked toward providing a proper, and legal, home for them.


iagree.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what happens when the government decides what's right and wrong.


Русский форум член.

Ensure your beneficiary makes and brings with them to the States a copy of the DS-3025 (vaccination form)

If the government is going to force me to exercise my "right" to health care, then they better start requiring people to exercise their Right to Bear Arms. - "Where's my public option rifle?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy #######. So six kids and two adults living in a storage unit, basically the size of my living room, which is meant to house articles and not humans. Come on. If my parental concern was for the children then they would have been living with their grandparents ages ago while I worked toward providing a proper, and legal, home for them.

No, the question is why didn't the grandparents step in and help, they knew of their grandchildren situation. It's seems as if the grandparents were only available to help now since the state will be giving them some finical aid. IMO, these are lousy grandparents, the parents were only giving their children unconditional LOVE. The grandparents didn't seem to have that motto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, the question is why didn't the grandparents step in and help, they knew of their grandchildren situation. It's seems as if the grandparents were only available to help now since the state will be giving them some finical aid. IMO, these are lousy grandparents, the parents were only giving their children unconditional LOVE. The grandparents didn't seem to have that motto.

Either that or they thought the kids were just fine where they were and CPS was the one who decided the kids were better off with them.

Once again, government making decisions they have no business making.


Русский форум член.

Ensure your beneficiary makes and brings with them to the States a copy of the DS-3025 (vaccination form)

If the government is going to force me to exercise my "right" to health care, then they better start requiring people to exercise their Right to Bear Arms. - "Where's my public option rifle?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where does it state that?

If the state took the children, then the state is responsible for them. They are obligated for the finical assistant to the the grandparents, the parents asked for Help from the state, but wasn't given it. ""They didn't ask us if we needed help or anything," Charlomane Leonard said. "They just said, 'You can stay here, but your children can't.' " Where did they ofer HELP.

The couple has struggled to make ends meet since they married 14 years ago. Their situation got worse about four years ago, when they were living in an apartment in northeast Houston.

For 14 years the granparents have been aware of the family situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
while out of the ordinary in the way of residence, what exactly is detrimental to the children in this environment?
:thumbs: It's certainly no worse than living in a mud hut, log-cabin or shack.

2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

---------------------------------------------------------------------

As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(mistaken response detected and edited)

Edited by Saddle Bronc

2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

---------------------------------------------------------------------

As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Egypt
Timeline

these kids had shelter, water, food, heat secure against intruders or criminals because of the fence and gate.....where is the state when kids are living on the street, in tents, cardboard boxes, shelters they have to sleep with many people they dont even know,

if the state wants to step in and take kids that are living a secure life maybe not up to some peoples standards but safe....then they should also be out hunting down the parents that put their kids in danger daily by living on the street and relying on shelters that even druggies and criminals can stay at.....they dont get a room of their own most times

they are thrown in with who knows what where ever there is a spare bed most of them are infested with lice........how do i know this? community work

in our state the homeless has been so high its difficult for most to even get housing from the state.....help with food yes....but that does not take care of a childs daily needs at least these parents were responsible and found a solution to keeping them off the streets and out of homeless shelters from what i can see from the news report......

just my opinion

sara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...