A Philadelphia ministry is lending a helping hand to the homeless family of a toddler who was found wandering barefoot in LOVE Park.
CHOSEN 300 announced they raised $12,000 to provide housing for one year for the parents of 2-year-old Jeremiah, who was found by passerby Friday around 11:50 p.m.
Witnesses flagged down police after they found the boy who was wearing a green long-sleeve shirt, black running pants and a diaper but no shoes or socks, according to investigators.
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The officers took the little boy, whom was reportedly scared and upset when he was found, to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to be checked out.
Shortly after Jeremiah was found, his parents, 54-year-old Michael Jones and his 27-year-old fiancée, called police to report that he was missing, investigators said. The parents said they had been kicked out of a home where they were staying Friday and spent the night sleeping in a cardboard box near LOVE Park's visitor's center.
"That night we couldn't find nobody to take the kids so I had to improvise," Jones said.
Jeremiah wandered off after the parents fell asleep and they were still sleeping when the child was found, police said.
Jeremiah as well as his 4-year-old sister were both placed in DHS custody. No charges have been filed but the investigation is ongoing.
On Sunday, CHOSEN 300 an inter-denominational ministry which has distributed more than 150,000 meals a year to the homeless in Center City, West Philadelphia and Pottstown, announced their plan to help the boy and his family.
"CHOSEN 300 has launched a campaign to raise $12,000 IN 12 DAYS to secure housing for this family for 1-year. In addition, our staff will be working with the family to provide case management, money management and social services to move them toward self-sufficiency," a spokesperson wrote in a press release. "We know this family as they have come to our mission often to receive meals. We have witnessed their love and care for their two children, but have fallen on hard times."
While the ministry gave themselves a timeline of 12 days, by Monday afternoon they had already raised the $12,000 needed to provide housing.
"It's like freaking me out that all the love is being pushed out there," said Jones, who has been looking for work to support his family for nearly two years. "Just in the last two days I got 55 job offers."