A Michigan father claimed his wife left him with his five children, making him move out of his house and sleep in a van. Feeling terrible for his kids, he shared how they spent their days as a homeless family of six.
Financial problems can take a person from the best time in life to the worst. To battle such situations, many people invest their savings in profitable assets that they can use during hard times.
On the other hand, some people are not privileged enough to have extra money at the end of each month that they can save for the future. The man in today's story also went through a difficult time, making him live in his van with his five children.
A DIFFICULT SITUATION
When Joseph Cantu's wife allegedly abandoned him and his children in 2019, he was forced to move out of his house and live on the streets. The father of five then began trying his best to find a permanent housing solution.
Since he couldn't leave his children alone, he spent most of the day with them, which ultimately made him lose his job. Cantu had two things to worry about: finding a place to live and earning a living. He said:
"I never thought this would happen to myself anyway but what bothers me the most is that they [his kids] have to endure it as well."
The first solution Cantu came up with was to live in the van with his five children. He revealed that he often parked inside a rest area to sleep peacefully.
At first, it seemed unbelievable when his phone rang multiple times that night.
Other times, people would donate money to them, enough to spend some days in a motel. While the children had a new experience living in the motel, they also asked him when they would return home.
The poor father didn't give up because of his faith in God. A part of him felt relieved knowing his children won't remember these struggles for long.
WAITING FOR PLACEMENT
Since Cantu couldn't afford to live in a house, the only solution he had was to live in a shelter with his children. He had contacted many shelters, but things didn't work out in his favor. He said:
"We're waiting on a placement through a shelter, but unfortunately, here in southeast Michigan, there are not many shelters for men with children."
It's not common to see single fathers living on the streets, so finding a place in a decent shelter was a challenge for Cantu. Fortunately, the father received child care support from the Michigan Department of Human Services after confirming he was eligible for it. However, that didn't mean his suffering had ended.
After FOX 2 News covered his story and it went live on their channel, many people started to approach Cantu to help him. At first, it seemed unbelievable when his phone rang multiple times that night.
Moreover, netizens also shared Cantu's story on Facebook, making him go viral in no time. People also contacted FOX 2 News after learning about Cantu's situation through social media. Cantu recalled:
"I was very shocked, it humbled myself and I literally started crying - seeing the outreach of people that are willing to help."
After hearing about Cantu and his children, people offered whatever they could give him. Since he had revealed that he worked as a professional polisher in the auto body industry, an auto workshop owner considered him for a job opportunity.
Delighted after hearing about it, Cantu said he would give the job interview at his earliest convenience. He was overwhelmed by the amazing response he received after his story aired on FOX 2 News.
While some people opened their doors for Cantu and his children to live with them, he preferred to stay at a shelter. He got his name on the waiting list of one such organization that supported men with children.
With the response he got, Cantu was sure his life would soon get back on track. To express his gratitude, he decided to turn his suffering into an opportunity to improve the lives of other single dads. He wanted to develop a plan for other men going through what he went. Meanwhile, he shared a heartfelt message with his supporters:
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart and my kids. God bless you guys."
Luckily, Cantu got the help he needed after his interview aired on TV. His story teaches us not to give up even when we think our situation can not get any worse. Instead, we should look around to find the kind souls willing to help us.
What do you think about this inspirational story? Do you think any excuse justifies a mother abandoning her children knowing they would end up on the streets?
Click here to read another story about a mother who abandoned her two kids after divorce and met them seven years later.