Homeless family receiving help after toddler found wandering park at night

WPVI logo
Monday, October 19, 2015
VIDEO: Wandering toddler family help
In Love Park, a homeless family received the news community help is on the way on Sunday.

PHILADELPHIA -- In Philadelphia's Love Park Sunday, a homeless family received word community help is on the way.

The promise came one day after their 2-year-old son made headlines after he was found wandering alone in the park after midnight.

Shortly after the toddler was found, police said the parents notified them he was missing.

The toddler's mother, Angelique Roland, and Michael Jones, who tells us he is the boy's father, spoke with Action News on Saturday about their situation.

"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."

Jones showed us on Saturday where his family slept Friday night: behind cardboard walls under the city's Welcome Center.

After Action News aired the story on Saturday, the couple received numerous offers of help and jobs, from people including Brian Jenkins of Chosen 300 Ministries Inc., a homeless advocacy group.

"It doesn't make them bad parents," Jenkins told Action News. "It says they don't have what they need to be able to survive."

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

Jenkins is calling on the community to help get the family on their feet.

"Today we're actually launching a $12,000 campaign to be able to raise the necessary funds to get this family into a place, hopefully support them for at least a year," said Jenkins.

Police said the toddler was found alone in the park by a resident Friday night.

The resident then flagged down a SEPTA transit officer.

That transit officer, along with fire medics, took the boy to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for evaluation, where he was admitted.

The boy was 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.

The couple said they ended up here after having trouble finding room in a shelter.

They said the boy wandered off after they had fallen asleep, and they were unaware he was missing when he was found in a separate area of the park.

"Somehow he crawled past the bags over top of us, and walked out," said Jones.

The boy's 4-year-old sister was also with the parents when they were located.

Both children have been placed with DHS until the family can get on their feet.

Jenkins said all donated funds will go directly toward a landlord to cover rent costs, and also social services costs to help the family become self sufficient.

If you would like to donate, you can do so by visiting www.chosen300.org.