A family living in the woods in Newport, Kentucky, received unexpected help from police officers.
On Jan. 24, Newport Police received a call about people living in the woods, WXIX reports. When officers found Jody Kiskaden's family of five in a makeshift tent, they decided to lend a hand.
“Obviously we couldn’t leave them staying in the woods with the kids,” Lt. Kevin Drohan said. “You open that tent and these two little faces, little kids pop up and look at you … It was heartbreaking.”
Drohan and the other officers who work the nightshift pooled their money to buy food for the Kiskaden family and secure them a six-night stay at a local hotel.
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“I’m grateful for all of that,” Jody said. “When they come up there and got me out of there ... I thought I was in trouble ... They said, ‘No, we’re going to help you, come on, you aren't in trouble.’”
Jody, a former tattoo artist, has spent time in jail and is concerned with providing for his family, of which a new member is due soon -- his partner Kayla is 8 months pregnant.
“I actually asked Child Protective Services to open a case and just take my kids,” he said. “I’ll do the six months, get on our feet ... We just need a little time.”
Jody is waiting for his license and birth certificate so he can apply for work. The family has tried to find a place in a shelter, but they are all full for the winter. Even though they are homeless, Jody and Kayla make sure their children go to school.
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“We’re really trying to do things right," Jody said. "We’re both sober, both just doing what we can ... We sit in the school all day until 3:30 p.m. every day, and we make sure our kids go to school. [We] make sure they got clothes on their back.”
The Newport Police Department will set up a charitable bank account for those who wish to donate to help the Kiskaden family find a home.
In January 2016, Kentucky had 4,237 homeless people, or 0.10 percent of its population (4,425,092), according to the Kentucky Housing Corporation.