A 25-day-old baby died recently in Atlanta of malnutrition. The authorities were going to prosecute her parents (who were jobless and homeless)...until they discovered that these people had no where to turn to...until it was too late.
Wake UP, Mr. Bush! This is the United States of America, not a third-world country!
City rallies for grieving couple with a job and a place to live
By MILO IPPOLITO
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
JOHN SPINK / Staff
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin (front) announces assistance Thursday for the funeral Saturday of Enestae Kessee Jr., infant son of Enestae Kessee and Bonita Williams (right). At left is Joyce Dorsey, president and CEO of Fulton Atlanta Community Action Authority.
Enestae Kessee Jr., the homeless newborn who died in Atlanta this week, will get a proper burial on Saturday.
His grieving parents have been given a place to live. The father now has a job as a laborer.
Mayor Shirley Franklin and other politicians stood beside the parents, Bonita Williams and Enestae Kessee, at City Hall on Thursday to show that Atlanta cares.
Less than a week earlier, the homeless couple was shouting in the street seeking medical help for their child, who had stopped breathing. They were ignored until they walked more than a mile to the Atlanta City Detention Center.
"Hopefully, this will be a catalyst not only for the city but the county and the state to do what is necessary to get a handle on this [homeless] problem, and that way this child's death will not be in vain," said state Sen. Vincent Fort.
Initially, the parents were charged with child cruelty in the baby's death. Charges were dropped after a medical examiner concluded the parents had not injured the child.
Williams and Kessee held hands tightly as Franklin and the others began the news conference at the mayor's office Thursday.
The mother, 19, wore a conservative, eggshell-colored suit. Her hair was dressed. She had a distraught look on her face. The father, 24, stepped to the microphone briefly.
"First of all, I would like to thank Mayor Franklin, first and foremost," Kessee said, "and everyone else who has pitched in."
When asked about the tragedy, Kessee said: "When God steps in, it's what he says and not what everybody else says."
Several businesses and civic groups have come together to provide for the child's funeral and the parents' needs.
The funeral for Enestae Jr. will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Overcoming Church of God, 385 Gardner St. He will be buried in Lincoln Cemetery. Watkins Funeral Home is handling the arrangements free of charge.
PRS Construction has given Kessee a job as a laborer. Capitol Development Group has given the couple six months of free rent at an undisclosed address.
Furniture is being provided by Atlanta Furniture Bank and Revelations of Life. Buckhead Ministries is donating food and household supplies.
MARTA gave them transit cards.
Families First and Cascade United Methodist Church are offering guidance services, and Fulton Atlanta Community Action Authority is providing grief counseling.
A fund for donations has been set up at Citizens Trust Bank.
"We wanted to let this family know we grieve with them," said City Councilman Derrick Boazman.