Shaina Bell's kids were found in a Belmont Avenue motel room while she was working at Little Caesars.
2020 has been a hard year for many as it forced countless people out of their jobs among other challenges. With a sudden decline in income, the unemployed population began looking for any opportunity that would fetch them enough money to meet ends. It was especially hard on single parents who had the responsibility of feeding and caring for their kids. Thus, when Shaina Bell got a job at Little Caesars, she made the painful decision of leaving her young kids in a Belmont Avenue motel room and earning money for them.
💯— vanessaj (@msvjc1229) February 15, 2021
Unfortunately, her actions did not sit well with authorities and she was arrested on charges of child endangerment recently. According to WFMJ-TV, the Liberty Township police arrived at Motel Six after 6 p.m. after receiving a tip. On investigating further they found two of Bell's children alone in a room. When they asked the kids about their guardian, her 10-year-old told the cops that their mother was at work and that she would likely be back by 10 p.m. Her three children were reportedly turned over to their father.
I hate this and I wish this would stop. We're just criminalizing poverty.— Jennifer A. Frey (@jennfrey) February 13, 2021
Liberty Police: Kids left in motel as mom works in pizza shop https://t.co/hA6cMKUKmS
Police then found the 24-year-old mother working at a pizza shop. When asked about her kids' safety, Bell defended herself saying that she usually has someone check in on her children every hour when she's at work. But she was arrested and booked into the Trumbull County Jail and charged with two counts of endangering children, a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail, and fines of up to $1,000. Bell pleaded not guilty to the charges was released from jail on Friday, per county jail records. She awaits her next hearing in April.
A GoFundMe account was immediately set up to help the mother through this time and people across the country rallied to support her. "Shaina is a single mother of three young children. She works hard and she loves her family very much. On Thursday, February 11, 2021, Shaina was arrested at her job and taken to jail for leaving two of her children (ages 10 and 2) alone in their hotel room while she went to work. She was released the next day but found herself in the need of immediate housing," read the page which has raised over $79,554 in just two days.
They gave them to the man who impregnated her when she was 13 or 14.— Mouthy Bitch (@sheila2me) February 14, 2021
"This campaign was created to help Shaina and her children raise the money they need in order to secure permanent and safe housing. Everything raised will go directly to establishing a safe and permanent home for Shaina, Faith, Jai'Sean and Jade," it continued. According to Vice, a GoFundMe donor accurately described the predicament of the young mom, writing, "This is a sad story. Arresting single parents in cases like this only furthers the goalpost for them. An arrest can mean a loss of job & income, court fees, time away from work, and barriers for future employment. I hope this young lady is able to get on her feet and get housing for her and her children."
So many people would say “sure solids like she didn’t make great choices” or something and I appreciate what you said instead ❤️ Yes, she just needs help.— Debby VanderVOTE, MLIS (@DebbyEndsWithY) February 14, 2021
This recent incident has sparked criticism surrounding the arrest of financially upset parents due to lack of child care. Back in 2014, a mother from South Carolina was taken into custody for letting her 9-year-old daughter play at a park during her working hours at a local McDonald's, reports CNN. The following year, another mom was faced with charges of abandoning her kids after she took her 6-year-old and 2-year-old to mall food court during a job interview. She maintained that her kids were not even 30 feet away from her and that she never let them out of her sight.
Single moms face the worst of social injustice as it disables the moms financially, socially,career wise,relationship wise &more..for the rest of her life— Someone somewhere (@Someone45431253) February 13, 2021
UBI could have prevented this & it's consequences
Teaching &training for IT jobs can get her an entry level job from home
Child care can be a huge expense, especially, during a time like this when people are struggling to put food on the table. Even daycares are struggling to stay open during the pandemic due to the fear of transmission. There are families who are not sending their kids to work to stop the spread of coronavirus. Unfortunately, it's parents who cannot conduct their jobs virtually ultimately get the shorter end of the stick. It is heartbreaking to see how they are forced to chose between watching their children and earning a living.