Homeless Woman’s Children Taken Away After She Left Them In Car During Job Interview

Homeless Woman’s Children Taken Away After She Left Them In Car During Job Interview

BY ANNIE-ROSE STRASSER ON MARCH 27, 2014 AT 8:38 AM



Shanesha Taylor, a woman from Scottsdale, Arizona, is homeless. So when she got asked to come in for a job interview last Thursday, she must have been excited by the prospect. But when you’re homeless, there isn’t always an easy way to take an hour off from watching your kids to be at an interview. That’s how Taylor, 35, wound up losing her children to Child Protective Service — and losing out on the potential job.
Taylor was charged with two felony counts of child abuse for leaving her six-month-old and two-year-old in a car with the windows cracked last Thursday for at least 45 minutes as she sat in an interview for a potential job. She told officers that she was homeless, so she couldn’t leave her children in the house, and she had no one else to watch them.
“She was upset,” Sargent Mark Clark, Public Information Officer for Scottsdale Police, told WFSB. “This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless, she needed the job. Obviously, not getting the job. So it’s just a sad situation.”
Taylor remains in jail, an official from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office confirmed, and will likely remain there until her first court date.
It is undeniably very unsafe to leave a child in a locked car. Thirty-eight children suffer heat-related deaths every year from being locked in a vehicle, according to Kids and Cars. But Taylor’s story raises an important issue: People in her situation are left with only bad options.
“It’s reasonable to turn the lens back on us,” Shahera Hyatt, Project Director for the California Homeless Youth Project, told ThinkProgress. “What did we do to not help her find childcare when she had that appointment?”
Hyatt points to her own state, California, which has cut 110,000 subsidized child care slots, about a quarter of the total spots in the program, since 2008, leaving low-income parents with few feasible options for child care on short notice.
Arizona’s child care situation for its low-income residents is, if anything, worse than California’s. In the past four years, the state has cut 40 percent of its total child care budget, $81 million, which led to an estimated 33,000 children who would otherwise be eligible for subsidized care to go without it. (By the numbers, that’s less than California — but Arizona’s population is about one fifth of the Golden State’s.) Between 2012 and 2013, there was a decrease in the number of children served for every single child care program in the state except for Child Protective Services.
But even when child care programs are available, the system to help out parents like Taylor isn’t always responsive enough. “There’s not really a great infrastructure to provide things like that, like child care. Mom got an interview this week? She might be on a waiting list for a really long time. She can’t do it at the last minute,” Hyatt said.
Homeless people also struggle with more than child care when looking for work — they can have difficulty finding an internet connection to apply to job or transportation to get to interviews, clean clothes, or a place to put their belongings. And once they land a job offer, they can run into even more problems, especially if they don’t have things like an ID or birth certificate. It’s a vicious cycle; not having a job perpetuates homelessness, which can in turn make it even harder to find a job.
This is likely the position Taylor found herself in when she had the opportunity to interview last week. She is probably “not an evil, criminal, bad woman,” Hyatt added. “She is just trying to do the right thing.”

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/03/27/3419192/homeless-woman-...

My opinion: We truly live in a compassion-less society. At what point do people stop and think before kicking a person while they're down? What good is done by jailing her and taking her kids? This woman had NO support system, yet she was trying her best to better her life by getting a job and trying to escape homelessness and poverty. I remember a while back there was a story about a police officer in Florida who bought a shoplifter food instead of arresting her for stealing groceries bc arresting her wouldn't help the woman's kids eat; why don't more officers use that kind of common sense? Criminalizing a mother for poverty driven desperation is not going to help those children who are now in foster care with strangers. If anything that has to be much more mentally/emotionally damaging than sitting in a car for an hour. 

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I understand your point butttttttt when there are children involved you look at things differently. My opinion?....she shouldnt have had those children anyways.  2 Children while moderately doing well is hard as hell, so being homeless with those 2 children was probably rough as well.  Still in all leaving 2 children in a car is no good. So all around its a tough situation, I feel for the woman however there were two children left in the car.  But jailing folks who are out here trying is ridiculous, kinda like throwing a man in jail for getting behind in his child support when he just lost his job. Makes no sense to do it

spot on as usual maam. they cut EVERY DAMN THANG over the past 10yrs.

University of Smitty said:

I've worked in social services for the last 10 years and it does NOT work like that.  Low income housing and welfare are two completely different things.  Welfare reform in the 90's put a 5 year limit on cash assistance and the states can choose to give you 3 months or the whole 5 years.  Community centers are drained DRY.  By the time their funds come in, they're already allocated and there's at LEAST a 3 year waiting list on low-income housing unless you know somebody.  You can also stay in a homeless shelter for a certain amount of time....usually 3 to 6 months and get bumped to the head of the line.  But I'm pretty sure the requirements are stricter since the federal budget sequestration.  They didn't just cut child care....they cut EVERYthing.  Who knows what her particular situation is but a vast majority of the homeless have some form of mental health issue.

Mama Dragon Slayer Puss said:

A newborn tho? That's what I'm tripping off. I hate to sound so mean but WHY is she homeless? It's my understanding that people can get on welfare which will include housing, food, childcare and opportunities to find work. Why isn't she on welfare? I also think services like community centers are underutilized. Most of them have daycares or some type of assistance that will lend a hand. Churches too. I get she was desperate but where are her other relationships that's she's built? Like an old lady she's know for years or the clerk at the store? Her old pastor or something?? And how did she get notice if this job? How did she contact them or how did they contact her? Surely she knows SOMEONE that can help her out. And I've allowed my staff to bring their kids to work if they ever get in a bind. There are some employers that will help her out if she needs it.

At some point as a parent you have to be selfless and put your children in a better situation.  Sounds callous but nothing is good about living on the street with 2 little ones.  My mom was able to give me to her mother for 2 years while she literally went thru a mental breakdown and depression. And that is where i learned selflessness from.

I feel so bad for this woman, I hope things work out for her and that she is able to get her kids back and take care of them. I definitely will donate. I don't think it's fair to say she shouldn't have kids because of her situation considering we don't know how long she's been homeless, how she became homeless or whether she has family/friends or not and etc. I hope someone like Oprah or Ellen sees this and decides to help.

$53K+ raised, the world still has compassionate people. Praying she gets her kids back.

Siren said:

For anyone interested in helping this woman they have started a fundraiser to bail her out and give her money to get on her feet.

 

http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/shanesha-taylor-fundraiser...

Dunno spice, throwing money at problems doesnt solve a damn thing sometimes. First thing, is the IRS gonna come for that money? Secondly will the courts damn near try n take all of it by her going to those b******* parenting classes, court fees, transportation back n forth to court etc.  I think her fight has just begun, because obviously she has a ton of damage control to do.

SEASONED $PICE PINE NEEDLE said:

$53K+ raised, the world still has compassionate people. Praying she gets her kids back.

Siren said:

For anyone interested in helping this woman they have started a fundraiser to bail her out and give her money to get on her feet.

 

http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/shanesha-taylor-fundraiser...

Gotta be optimistic.

blackfujones said:

Dunno spice, throwing money at problems doesnt solve a damn thing sometimes. First thing, is the IRS gonna come for that money? Secondly will the courts damn near try n take all of it by her going to those b******* parenting classes, court fees, transportation back n forth to court etc.  I think her fight has just begun, because obviously she has a ton of damage control to do.

SEASONED $PICE PINE NEEDLE said:

$53K+ raised, the world still has compassionate people. Praying she gets her kids back.

Siren said:

For anyone interested in helping this woman they have started a fundraiser to bail her out and give her money to get on her feet.

 

http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/shanesha-taylor-fundraiser...

Right, anyone's situation can change in an instant.  

SACK CHASER said:

I hope y'all judgmental perfect ass*s never fall in hardtimes.. I'm so disgusted by some of the comments here!

It goes to show some people have no idea how BLESSED they are and also no idea  how all of that can change in an instant. It is truly sad.

SACK CHASER said:

I hope y'all judgmental perfect ass*s never fall in hardtimes.. I'm so disgusted by some of the comments here!

Exactly +1 to both comments.

Siren said:

It goes to show some people have no idea how BLESSED they are and also no idea  how all of that can change in an instant. It is truly sad.

SACK CHASER said:

I hope y'all judgmental perfect ass*s never fall in hardtimes.. I'm so disgusted by some of the comments here!

my comments arent callous its the truth. when does one pride get shoved to the side and you go and be selfless for the sake of your kids. If i know im in a bad situation I do not allow my children to suffer with me. I think some of you need to get your head out your ass and realize what some folks are saying

I'm confused by your stance. Weren't you the one saying that you NEVER deny a child their parent(s) ESPECIALLY when their parent(s) are trying? Looks like this woman is trying her damnedest. She just needs a break. But okay.

blackfujones said:

my comments arent callous its the truth. when does one pride get shoved to the side and you go and be selfless for the sake of your kids. If i know im in a bad situation I do not allow my children to suffer with me. I think some of you need to get your head out your ass and realize what some folks are saying

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