Shanesha Taylor, a 35-year-old Arizona mother of two was arrested on two felony charges of child abuse after she left her young children in a car for two hours, with the windows slightly open so that she could go to a job interview. When Taylor left her interview, she was met by the police and she tried to explain to them her situation: she was homeless, jobless and couldn’t get a babysitter, so she did what she could to try to create a better life for her kids by going to the job interview.
AZFamily reports that the kids had already been in the car for 30 minutes when police arrived. Police said Taylor returned from her job interview about 45 minutes after officers came to the scene. The officer didn’t care about Taylor’s sob story, so she was arrested and the kids were taken by Child Protective Services.
Taylor’s bond was set at $9,000. Obviously, with no job, home or anyone to call to look after her two young children, paying this bond is seemingly impossible for Taylor.
Her sad story inspired a 22-year-old student, Amanda “Miss Manders” Bishop to collect funds for her. The student wrote the following on Taylor’s support page:
“I’m just a 24-year-old girl struggling like Shanesha who set this up. I never expected it to blow up this big, but I’m still oh so glad it did.”
The funds have gone beyond the $9,000 bond Taylor needed to pay to be set free and has climbed to $28,000 and counting! The funds will be used to help Taylor make bail as well as help cover her legal costs (any left over money will be used to help out of her living situation). Although, it’s being reported that she will remain in custody until March 31, 2014 and Amanda Bishop is trying to find out why.
While this windfall will assist Taylor in getting on her feet, she will still be jobless and alone when she’s released from jail. And now, she’s got a record which is surely to make getting a job a bit harder. Here’s hoping that the support Taylor is receiving will also be occupational. I also hope that this jail time won’t be an excuse for the system take her children away permanently.
The economy is unkind, especially to single mothers. 4.1 million single-mother families are living in poverty in the U.S. Taylor had a decision to make. Continue to live in poverty, or secure a job interview and do whatever is necessary to make it to said interview. She chose to change her situation.
And maybe leaving her kids in the car wasn’t the best choice, but would she have been considered for the job if she brought them inside with her? Only two-fifths of single mothers are employed full-time the entire year, and a quarter are jobless the entire year. And don’t even get me started on the ridiculous costs of child care, which perpetuates poverty.
Taylor’s situation puts a spotlight on single mothers and poverty. Let’s hope we’re able to keep it there.
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