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Family of child found wandering park may lose home from charity

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There was a twist in the story of a family whose child was found wandering LOVE Park. (WPVI)

Some of the donors who came to the aid of a homeless family after their 2-year-old son was found wandering in LOVE Park last fall are regretting their actions.

The family was given a roof over their heads by Chosen 300 Ministries, but are now about to be kicked out.

The family's child, Jeremiah Jones, was found by a SEPTA police officer walking alone in LOVE Park late at night last October.

Authorities have located the parents of a missing 2-year-old boy found wandering at Love Park in Center City.

"I always say he who is without sin cast the first stone. We all have issues, but it's how we handle that, and the people that are around us to support us," Veronica Joyner of the Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School told Action News.

Joyner says it is most unfortunate things have degenerated the way they have in the effort to help a homeless family.

Joyner's charter school had donated $1,000 to Chosen 300 Ministries' effort to raise $12,000 in 12 days to lease the family a home for a year.
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Nine days after their son was found wandering alone at night in Love Park, a homeless couple has a house.

The ministry, however, now says the family has been uncooperative with a judge's orders and wants to boot them out of their home.

"We did everything that we could to try to help this family, but they became very difficult with our staff, a lot of vulgarity, and making some folks feel very uncomfortable, so we had to make a very hard decision that we had to back away," Brian Jenkins, Chosen 300 Ministries Executive Director, said.

Jeremiah and his sister are still in foster care and the lease on their parents' new home has ended.

Officials say Jeremiah's parents are refusing to leave the property.

Action News spoke with the couple, who are devout Muslims, Wednesday night.

They say things began to fall apart when the Christian group tried to force them to attend Christian activities.

"Then he wanted us to go to this Christian retreat. We Muslims, I don't knock nobody, but you're not going to send us to a Christian retreat to receive marriage counselling because we're getting married," Michael Jones said.

"I really was devastated and I didn't like the fact that he was doing that. I was feeling depressed. Back of my head, I was thinking 'you're making me feel like I need to convert my religion.' I'm going to be who I am at the end of the day," Angelique Roland said.

Meanwhile, Joyner is trying to bring the two sides together.

"Let's do it for the children. I begged Bryan to let's go at it again. Let's go to their religion and get some of their religious leaders and try to pull this together," Joyner said.

In a statement Wednesday night, Jenkins dismisses the religious bias claims, saying the group helps all in need not just self-professed Christians. Jenkins says the ministries has a number of Muslim volunteers who are helping them trying to feed and shelter the homeless.

As for Jeremiah and his sister, they're being taken care of by the Department of Human Services.

The rest of the money raised for their family has been put to offset college costs.

Related Topics:
philly newshomelessdonationsu.s. & worldPennsylvania
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