Society

Mom's Craigslist Ad Leads Social Services To Take Her Kids

| by Jonathan Wolfe

North Carolina mother Moshimalee Johnson had her children taken from her last week after she turned to Craigslist looking for housing for her children. Johnson said she only posted on Craigslist after both Durham Social Services (DSS) and the Durham Rescue Mission turned her away.

“I am currently homeless and looking for someone to take my five kids until I can find a job and a place to live,” Johnson wrote in the ad. “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’s appointments because my 6-year-old accidentally hung himself. Please help anyone.”

Johnson, who according to the New York Daily News is eight months pregnant, thought her post on Craigslist was a smart idea given her desperate situation. After all, she saw people posting about housing opportunities on the site all the time. But someone else must not have thought it was a wise move and reported her to Social Services.

“[The DSS worker] said a murderer or child molester could have come asking about them,” Johnson said.

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Soon after being contacted by DSS, Johnson’s children were taken away. Although her Craigslist posting seemed to indicate she wanted to find someone willing to house her kids separately from her, Johnson told the News & Observer this wasn’t the case.

"Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I didn't want to give the kids up. I wanted a place for me and my kids," she told the paper.

Johnson, a certified nurse assistant, hopes she can now find gainful employment and win back custody of her kids.

“I got what I asked for,” she said about the DSS taking her kids. “But I’m still looking for help.”

Sources: News & Observer, New York Daily News