James Schweikhard, 41, was struggling to make ends meet in Oklahoma, so he moved to Lakewood, Colorado, with his 10-year-old daughter in August.
"I packed everything up that we own in the truck and there and we just drove here," he told KUSA. "It was more of a risk staying in Oklahoma. I couldn't get a job for anything, couldn't get a place to live.”
Unfortunately, the move didn’t improve the family’s fortunes. The father-daughter duo were forced to live out of the truck, which eventually died. Schweikhard walked his daughter to school every day, but without reliable transportation, he lost his job.
School officials were concerned about the girl’s living conditions, so they called the police.
Lakewood Police Officer James Butler paid a visit to Schweikhard’s broken down vehicle.
"I saw them looking at my truck [and] I said, 'Officers, what is going on?'" Schweikhard said. "[He] said, 'We're trying to help you.' I said, 'OK, I can accept that.’”
The police department connected the family with a shelter, and two companies have donated their services to help fix Schweikhard’s car.
"Feels really different to help someone who you know is down on their luck," said Jere Burton, owner of Sun Valley Automotive.
"It was the right thing to do," Butler said. "Because at any point in time in our lives anyone of us can be in that same situation, offering assistance to another human being is the right thing to do.”
The police department is working to help Schweikhard and his daughter find more permanent housing.
"I think it's awesome," Schweikhard said. "I think it's really cool -- very unexpected, but very cool."