HOUSTON—A KHOU 11 News viewer donated a house to a married couple who lived in a northeast Houston storage shed with six children.
The donation came just days after the couple was featured on KHOU 11 News because Child Protective Services had taken custody of their kids. The parents said they believed they were being punished because they’re poor.
"You shouldn’t take our kids because we’ve fallen on hard times," said Prince Leonard.
The Leonards moved in three years ago after the father, an unemployed welder, was hired as a maintenance worker.
The family had already lost an apartment and believed the homeless shelter wasn’t safe enough.
A passerby spotted the children outside and reported them to Child Protective Services. A caseworker investigated, and the state took custody of the kids.
According to CPS, the children were removed because the storage shed was a dangerous living environment. The shed, which lacked running water, was about 12 feet wide and 25 feet long. It had an air conditioner, a refrigerator and two personal computers.
Someone who saw their story donated a four-bedroom donated the house, which the Leonards plan to move into this weekend.
A CPS spokesperson said they could get their children back as early as next week.
"Now they can be here and there, and they can play. And they have the space that they need," their mother said.
The house has indoor plumbing, unlike the storage shed they lived in previously.
"Compared to what I come from, this is the Taj Mahal," Prince Leonard said. "I'm just glad to be able to get my children back when they come look at this place."