Desperate Craigslist Mom Loses Kids to Foster Care

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Desperate Craigslist Mom Loses Children to Foster CareA desperate North Carolina mother who posted an ad on Craigslist seeking a home for her five children has lost them to foster care. Moshimalee Johnson is a 32-year-old homeless mother who can no longer take care of her kids. Johnson said she never intended to give them up; she was only looking for someone to house her and her children until she could find a place to live and a job.

The desperate mom said in 2013 she lost her healthcare job after her vehicle broke down and the bus caused her to be late too many times. As a result she also lost her apartment and was forced to move her family in with her mother. Placing the ad on Craigslist was a last resort for the mother. She was rejected by the Durham Department of Social Services (DSS) as well as two other organizations, namely Urban Ministries and Durham Rescue Mission.

Johnson said she felt she had run out of options and decided to try Craigslist. She had seen other people post ads on Craigslist looking for places to live and felt she was doing nothing wrong. This mother of five said her children’s father helps but he is not financially capable of providing housing for the children. Frustrated and stressed, the mother Desperate Craigslist Mom Loses Children to Foster Careturned to Craigslist and posted the following ad in the “apartments wanted” section:

Five kids in need of temporary home (Durham, NC). 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 [Durham Rescue Mission] won’t let you work if you come there. I am a certified nursing assistant but can’t find work due to numerous doctor appointments because my 6-year-old accidentally hung himself. Please help anyone.

After posting the ad Johnson said the state came, took away her children and placed them in foster care. She now feels as if she failed to clarify her intention for the ad; she never wanted to lose her children she wanted temporary housing where they could all live together. Johnson, who is currently eight months pregnant, wanted to keep her five children ages nine, seven, six and twins who are two together with their mother.

Michael Becketts, director of Durham County Social Services, would not confirm if the children were removed from their mother’s care because of the Craigslist posting. Johnson said she hopes once she finds a job and stable residence she can be reunited with her children.

The desperate mom said she posted the ad in hopes of finding housing where she could take her children to social service appointments as well as medical and therapy. Johnson said she was hoping to find someone who could house her family and watch her children while she worked overnight. A social worker told her it was inappropriate to seek assistance for her children on Craigslist because a child molester or murderer could have responded to the posting.

Sadly, after being turned away from other more responsible resources, a desperate North Carolina mother turned to Craigslist seeking a home for her five children. Two days after posting the ad for help she lost her children to foster care. She never intended to give up her kids; Johnson only wanted help to house her family together until she could find a place to live and a job. Moshimalee Johnson, who has a job interview in Wake Forest on Wednesday, remains hopeful that her children will be returned to her once she has a job and a stable home.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)


Urban Family Talk
News Observer

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