Help after homeless St. Louis family shares heartbreaking story of raising kids in parks

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — FOX 2 reporter Elliott Davis interviewed a homeless couple who was sleeping in several area parks with their 5 and 6-year-old children at St. Louis City Hall Thursday. The post went viral, generating thousands of comments and reactions.

Breona White says during the interview that they have been living like this for about a year. A family member told them they had to leave after they were staying there for a while. She says that getting her kids ready for school while suffering from sickle cell is one of the most difficult things about the situation. The condition is very painful.

They have gone to several shelters for help. But, they can't seem to get anywhere with them.

"The hardest part is sleeping in the park with the kids. We don't want anyone messing with them because we have a little girl and a boy. There are a lot of pedophiles out there. You have to watch out for those guys. Some of them came from prison and you don't know what they did," said Jesse Cauthen.

They say that getting the kids to sleep in a park can be hard. The ground isn't very comfortable to sleep on and the kids don't want to be there. They also have to watch out for the police who don't want them sleeping there.

Breona and Jesse say that they don't want to be homeless. They want to have a place where the kids can call home. Getting enough money to pay rent has been a barrier for them.

Elliott Davis provided this update about the family's situation Sunday:

"I’ve paid for the family to stay in a motel for the next four days. And there’s more.

One of my Facebook Followers saw the interview with them that I posted earlier. That Good Samaritan is sending them enough money to be able to move into an apartment hopefully as soon as the end of the week.

The family is on disability but didn’t have enough to piece together what they needed to move into an apartment so they had been staying in various parks.

Breona suffers from sickle cell anemia and struggles to get her kids ready for school in the morning.

Things may be looking up after a year of moving from one park to another. I met the couple at an Aldermanic hearing on homelessness and interviewed them. By the way, the kids looked overjoyed to be inside and safe and not sleeping outside."

Breonna says people who would like to contribute can reach her at 314-309-1124.

Elliott Davis recently won a regional Edward R. Murrow award for social media because of his work being an advocate for the homeless.

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