After raising $12,000 to help homeless parents whose two-year-old was found wandering barefoot in a Philadelphia park last year in the middle of the night, a local ministry is close to evicting the couple.
Angelique Roland, 27, and her partner, Michael Jones, 54, were discovered sleeping in rough conditions under cardboard boxes in Philadelphia’s Love Park early in the hours October 17 after their son Jeremiyah, two, was rescued.
The couple claimed they had been kicked out of a relative’s home they were living in. His parents had reported him missing to police and they will not be charged. Jeremiyah and his four-year-old sister were put in DHS custody after the incident.
After overwhelming support came in for the couple, including thousands of dollars, job offers and more, Brian Jenkins of CHOSEN 300, an inter-denominational Christian ministry that helps the homeless, has said that the couple ‘doesn’t want change’.
Ministry CHOSEN 300 has decided to evict Angelique Roland, 27, and Michael Jones, 54, from their home after raising more than $12,000 for rent and offering counseling services
The couple hit headlines when their son, Jeremiyah (pictured), two, wandered off from their cardboard box shelter in downtown Philadelphia in October
Rowland and Jones said that one 11 weeks on from the incident, they haven’t had enough time to rehabilitate from living on the streets
His ministry had organized for the family to live in a three-bedroom home for a year and also said they would organize counseling to the couple.
‘This couple doesn’t want change,’ Jenkins told NBC Philadelphia. ‘What they want is a free ride. And we’re all out of free rides. We’re interested in providing avenues to people that want to try to get up.’
Barely 11 weeks into the couple’s lease, the ministry has announced it will end the commitment to the family and evict the couple.
‘Initially we were very optimistic to help the couple move ahead, however they rejected services and failed to comply with the judge’s orders in which the children have not been returned,’ CHOSEN 300 wrote in a press release.
The statement continued: ‘Due to the uncooperative nature of the couple, but primarily due to the children not returning to the home, CHOSEN 300 ended the lease with the landlord on Jan 5, 2016 in which a 30 day notice was given to both the landlord as well as the couple.
‘Mike and Angelique are now refusing to leave the property putting the landlord in a difficult situation.’
Jenkins told NBC 10 that Roland and Jones racked up a $600 room service charge at a Marriott they were staying in before getting the house.
They also missed a child custody hearing, resisted counseling and failed multiple drug tests, Jenkins said.
Brian Jenkins of CHOSEN 300, an inter-denominational Christian ministry that helps the homeless, believes that the couple ‘doesn’t want change’
Roland and Jones were donated the house by Chosen 300 after their son was found wandering the park alone
Previously, the couple and their two children, aged two and four, had been living in cardboard boxes in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park
Jones and Roland said they haven’t had enough time to rehabilitate, despite attending court-ordered counseling.
‘He doesn’t realize there are steps people have to take,’ Jones told NBC. ‘Sometimes people bend a little bit. And you have to give a person time to right himself back up!’
Jenkins said that the remainder of the $12,000 will be put in an educational fund for Jeremiyah and his sister.
‘We say to the public don’t lose hope,’ Jenkins said. ‘Don’t hold your head down because one family decided that they didn’t want the help that we were there to offer. But there are other families out there who are desperate for our help!’
If a court decides that Jones and Roland are prepared to take back custody of their son and daughter, Chosen 300 will release the remaining funds if the family finds a place to live.
Jones and Roland said they’re looking for a lawyer to represent them at no cost.
‘He wants to sit here and make us feel like and look like we’re the type of people where we want to be lazy or we’ve got a house and we’re trying to lay back now,’ Roland said. ‘We’re really not that type of people.’
It was revealed last year that Roland was a crack baby while Jones had a 30-year history of addiction to the drug.
Philadelphia protective services are now looking after Jeremiyah (left) and Malaysia (right). If a court decides that Jones and Roland are prepared to take back custody of their son and daughter, Chosen 300 will release the remaining funds if the family finds a place to live.
Jenkins said that since the incident, the couple (pictured) also missed a child custody hearing, resisted counseling and failed multiple drug tests
Relatives of Roland described her own difficult childhood and their attempts to reach out to her. At some point she converted to Islam, despite having been brought up a Christian.
Her uncle Aquil Hadin described Angelique as a ‘crack baby’ but said that her mother, Courtney Quitman had not used drugs only her father, Keith Roland.
Around the age of 16, Angelique had a son to an unknown father. The child was given up for adoption and taken in one of Roland’s uncles on her father’s side.
Roland and her mother, who is Hadin’s his sister, were arguing over social security payments that Angelique believed her mother was spending on herself and not on her. ‘That made Angelique angry,’ her uncle said.
‘She had mental challenges and it was hard for my sister to handle her. At 16, she went to a residential group home in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania,’ Hadin said last year. ‘She was there until 18 and I believe she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.’
Her uncle claims Roland obtained her GED at the group home but he did not know if she had ever held down a job.
Roland was living in homeless shelters where she met Michael Jones, 54, around six years ago.
The uncle also believed that Roland and her children were homeless because of her relationship with Jones.
Roland has been arrested several times in recent years. Jones has served ten years in prison, according to Philly.com and spent three decades addicted to crack which left him homeless for five years.