A North Carolina mother of five, Moshimalee Johnson, posted an ad on Craigslist in an effort to find a home for her children, after the Durham Department of Social Services refused to help earlier this month.
The homeless 32-year-old woman wrote in the apartments wanted section, “I am currently homeless and looking for someone to take my five kids until I can find a job and a place to live.”
“I called DSS, and they won’t take them. The shelter has a waiting list and Urban Ministries won’t let you work if you come there. I am a certified nursing assistant but can’t find work due to numerous doctor’s appointments because my 6-year-old accidentally hung himself. Please help, anyone,” she added.
After posting the desperate ad, Johnson says the state took her children away and placed them in foster care.
Johnson spoke to the News & Observer, saying she didn’t want to lose her children — ages 9, 7, 6 and twins who are 2 — but she wanted to find a place for them all to live together.
“Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. I didn’t want to give the kids up. I wanted a place for me and my kids,” she said.
Durham County Social Services Director Michael Becketts would not confirm whether the children were taken away because of the posting. He said, “You are assuming DSS was aware of the posting. If we don’t see it, we don’t know it.”
Johnson says she initially lost her health care job in 2013 after her minivan broke down and she was late to work too many times because of the bus. She was later evicted from her apartment and moved her family in with her mom.
The mother hopes to be reunited with her children soon, after she has a job and a stable home.
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