EXCLUSIVE: BLAM Interviews Houston Family Living In Storage Shed That Had Children Taken By CPS

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Nearly everyone has heard about the Leonard family from Houston that had their 6 children taken away from them by CPS because they were living in a storage shed. Well…we at blackloveandmarriage.com were granted an interview with Prince and Charlamayne Leonard and were fortunate to get a first hand account of what happened and how their family is doing today.

Check out the interview and hear about the circumstances (youngest child nursing, CPS offered no help, donated house ain’t all it’s made out to be, being forced to live a new life, etc.) surrounding their terrible ordeal. We know that there are varying opinions about whether or not their living conditions were acceptable. However, our aim in this interview is to go beyond the surface and the temptation to look only at their methods (i.e., choosing to make their home in a storage unit). Rather, we want to examine their intentions, actual results in their apparently very well adjusted children, and the heart of what they were attempting to do. As always, here at BLAM, we are 100% about promoting open-minded examination and exchange in every area of our lives. Things are not always as they seem. It is our intention that someone, if just one, is enlightened, challenged, & elevated by this story.

Lastly, Prince Leonard has provided their bank account info if you feel so inspired to help them through these trying times.

Bank Of America

Acct# 488029678611

Routing # 111000025

BLAM Fam thanks in advance for listening and  for your care, concern, and donations to this family.

17 replies
  1. angie
    angie says:

    God bless this family. These parents have done anything and everything for their children that they were able to. Growing up, I lived in a big home where inside we were 15 members and there was no running water or electricity. Because it wasnt apparent to society, CPS was never called. I now have a graduate degree and am will begin my career with the Federal Govnt. My mother loved us and took care of us the best she could. I thank God for her strength. This family need each other no matter how hard it gets. Pray for them.

  2. Lesly
    Lesly says:

    That must be so sad. It's not fair if your children will be taken away from you just because of poverty. This is an eye opener to parents. If you are planning to have children you should have nice or better shed to give to your children so that they won't be taken away from you.
    My recent post Beverly Hills auto body

  3. K.O.
    K.O. says:

    I just got around to listening to this interview, and I read through the comments that were posted….and I see a whole lot of judgment. Although this isn't the choice that I would see myself making, I admire this family for trying to build a legacy for their children. People hear storage unit and automatically flip out. But the kids were happy and healthy, doing great in school. We have many other families out here, living in "normal" homes, kids doing terrible in school and parents neglecting them, and that's okay? Personally, I think they were better off in the storage shed, saving their money up for their land. At least while the kids were younger. People need to learn how to think outside of their boxes. Just because it's not the traditional way of doing something, doesn't make it wrong. Are the kids safe? Are the kids healthy? Then that's all that matters.

  4. CAC
    CAC says:

    Why they just couldn't move to the trailer parks they have cheap fixer uppers? I'm just really lost not because their way of living is against the social norms but how did they see this place as safe for their children? Lord I say many prayers never to have to walk in their shoes! I couldn't even imagine! This man I believe is unlike many men he had a plan but it wasn't plan for society to see! I hope it works for him because the storage unit it seemed to me was a form of rebellion to me!
    I think this could be a case of the blind leading the blind but I hope he isn't a Jive Turkey with some type of Jehovah Witness gibberish just because they don't want to participate in certain ways of the world they feel the need to take this type of act against nature up!

  5. Jakki
    Jakki says:

    I honestly don't know if they should have taken the children out of the storage or not, but I believe they will end up in a better situation eventually, the ball is now rolling and sometimes challenge is good. Sounds like to me it might have been easy to get stuck at that storage, because of circumstances. One of the children said he likes his room, and now, they have a place to stretch out, his statement spoke volumes, to how he felt. I get them trying to save money to buy property, but having a child after you got into the storage unit was not very smart, that's taking a step backwards in my opinion, which could also be one of those circumstance that caused the family to get stuck a little longer… I really feel for the children in this situation, for having to live in a storage unit, and being ripped apart from their family, there lies the real victims; children!

  6. Myra Williams
    Myra Williams says:

    In defense…I have compassion for the children and parents…I just can't see their choice as a "good choice" but it's really not my "business" what choices they make…I just know that I more than likely would not make those choices for myself, ever… It just seemed like the father wanted listeners to believe that he had made the right choice for his family…the mother said that they told family members it was what they wanted to do… and I understand that people are different. They have the right to be different. That doesn't mean that I have to agree with their choice… We are all judged for the choices we make, whether right or wrong…

    By the way, what is upper lower class?

  7. ItsJustMeC
    ItsJustMeC says:

    I work very close with CPS where i live (I work as a juvenile case manager). It always frustrates me how people get "trigger happy" when it come to removing children. I don't believe these children should have been removed. I really wish that people start to understand that poverty is NOT a reason to remove children from their "home"/family

  8. Carla S.
    Carla S. says:

    It never amazes me how easy it is for people to be so damn judgemental! What I like about how you all did this is that Aiyana you said you couldn't see doing this with your family but you were sensitive enough to hear the Leonard's point of view and try to understand what they were thinking and feeling. It's not surprising to me though. Black people are so hard on each other. We're worse with each other than others….internalized oppression….

  9. MzRin
    MzRin says:

    Any one of us could find ourselves in the same situation. One bad decision, Loosing Jobs, etc. The Leonard's are not the only family that has been forced to live in this situation. They are just the family that got caught. If America continues down the road it's going I'm here to tell you…MANY WILL BE IN THE SAME SITUATION. Let's stop hating and help…Remember do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's not our job to judge these people, it's our job to show compassion and help. Stop and think if you found yourself in a hopeless situation wouldn't you want help, compassion and encouragement?

  10. Ella Bella
    Ella Bella says:

    I'm sorry, but love simply is not enough to raise healthy children. The kids are happy because they don't know any better. However, the grown folks should know and do better. And having a nursing baby when you can't adequately provide for the children you already have?! I just don't understand this one no matter what lens I use.

  11. Myra Williams
    Myra Williams says:

    No running water… With a small baby…not having running water is considered to be a health hazard and unsanitary. How did they go to the bathroom? It's also like they're all sharing a bed because they're living in a 1-room space… But the sad reality is, this is how many ppl live in Third World countries…

  12. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    The comments I see here reflect the sharp divide in class in this country. It's unfortunate that empathy doesn't cross socioeconomic lines. For instance everyone that has access to this site is probably upper lower class and above….so psychologically there's difficulty in even conceiving and having compassion for the Leonard's because they are lower class and our everyday realities are so different. People are people yall…and the Leonard's had a plan. Whether they are upper, middle, or lower class….it was wrong for their children to be taken from them. They loved their kids and took care of their kids and i'm willing to bet they did it better than some of yall who are supposedly "better off". Stop HATIN!

  13. gronmanbiz05
    gronmanbiz05 says:

    Life and its outcome are built on choices we make. I have a wife and 5 kids myself, I'm young, I'm black and I'm making it. This story confuses me because lack of intelligence and common sense is what's holding this family back.Nobody is gonna give you a wealthy life, you gotta get out there and work for it.Faith without works is dead.I could go on and on……………….But Why?………The husband didn't even appreciate the home.The only between your? current situation and change is you.

  14. Feminine And Feisty
    Feminine And Feisty says:

    I do feel for them but I can't reach them. I believe that they had the best intentions? for the greater good for their family. But living in a storage place is not the way to go about it, and for 5 years too? No! Also, whats with this having another baby while already living in a storage place? Yes definately loving parents, terrible planing, and untimely decisions.

  15. allgrownup92
    allgrownup92 says:

    was this the first visit from CPS? were they reported…5 yrs is a long time and i cannot imagine that CPS did not know before this incident. how? are people allowed to live in cars with kids? I am glad the father got an education that is key that they did not remain in the same position they actually worked their plan and are succeeding.

  16. I Love To Scrub
    I Love To Scrub says:

    storage unit sounds bettter than NYC shelter from what I hear. i can't blame the paretns for taking a step back to try to move forward. seems like everyone was OK so how are they not to be admired?

    Why did they leave the storage unit? Didn't CPS say the adults could stay but the kids had to go? And when the kids were found to be Ok then why did they have to leave the unit? Y would we want? to contribute? I work 2 jobs and and in school too. U want my acc no? Come on!!!

  17. Nappy Naturally
    Nappy Naturally says:

    ….even though I wouldn't want 2 live in a storage unit with my children…it was the right decision? for their family…I agree~with great success comes great sacrifice

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