Mother and child in Little Rock homeless camp | Arkansas Blog

Mother and child in Little Rock homeless camp


HOMELESS CAMP: Newborn an occasional visitor.
  • HOMELESS CAMP: Newborn an occasional visitor.

The most affecting story of the day so far is this report from Mitch McCoy of our news partners at KARK/FOX 16 about a Southwest Little Rock homeless camp where a mother and her four-month-old child occasionally join the father.

Others who live in the camp say the child is bundled up when it's cold and well-fed. Police have responded to reports of the child there, but have not arrived when mother and child were around. But ...

Union Rescue Mission's Director of Missions Dorcas VanGilst says as long as children are being well nurtured, have a place to sleep and safe — it's hard for authorities to take action.

"Do I think it's rare to have a child less than a year homeless? Absolutely not. Like outside of a shelter? That's sad but no it's not rare," says VanGilst.
Indeed, it's not rare and at many ages. The Little Rock School District has long welcomed children to school who spent the night in cars and other unconventional "homes."

 And what of this quote from another person who camps with the family in question?

Not far into the woods, you'll find Timothy Riotliff's home.

"It's actually a pretty good life," says Riotliff. "The wild-west people used to do it. They used to have log cabins."

His home is a tent in an outdoor homeless camp with two other people surrounded by guard dogs.

"She might spend a couple days and she'll go back," says Riotliff.
It's true, isn't it? Some people with nice homes pay lots of money for gear to sleep out in the rough occasionally.

UPDATE: McCoy reports on Twitter today that Little Rock police have arrested the father on a warrant from Mississippi on a parole violation. Police responded to a call from state Human Services to check on the child and found it in a tent after first being told by the father the mother and child were in a shelter. The child has now been placed in state custody.

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