Homeless mom who left kids in car during job interview granted visitation
Earlier this year, a homeless mother in Phoenix was arrested and barred from seeing her two young children after leaving them in a vehicle while she attended a job interview.
But after a pretrial hearing on last week, Commissioner Richard Nothwehr granted Shanesha Taylor supervised contact with her children. Taylor has two sons, ages 8 months and 2 years old.
“This is a big victory for the defense,” attorney Benjamin Taylor said, according to USA Today. “My client is looking forward to seeing her kids once again.”
Taylor’s story quickly drew national attention following reports she left her children inside a Dodge Durango while she attended a job interview with an insurance company. She was then arrested on felony abuse charges but told police she did not have anyone to watch her kids.
An online fundraiser started by supporters thrust the homeless mother into the national spotlight. The fundraiser eventually raised more than $114,000 to help her with expenses, including legal fees.
Many who came to Taylor’s defense expressed their belief the mother was in a ‘Catch-22’ situation. Back in March, theGrio.com interviewed Janet Gallinati on this subject. Gallinati is the President of the international non-profit Parents Without Partners, which supports single parents and their children:
She was homeless and trying to find a job. Yet she didn’t have the people to help her or connections to help her make better choices.
Taylor’s case has shed light on a number of serious issues, including poverty, government assistance and high unemployment rates.
She is also a veteran who served in the Air Force for several years before being honorably discharged, according to USA Today.
“The public, in the rush to judge her, has lost sight that she has served her country,” the Rev. Jarrett Maupin told the publication. “A veteran has fallen through the safety net.”
Taylor’s children were taken to the hospital following her arrest and were later released with no injuries documented — they are currently being taken care of by family under the supervision of the Division of Child and Family Services.
Meanwhile, Taylor was taken to jail and was released on March 31 on $9,000 bond. She has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges and if found guilty, she faces a minimum of two years of probation for each count.
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works