Teevee news cameras provide a glimpse of the open-plan home fashioned out of a 12-ft.-by-25-ft. RV and boat storage unit in a long shed across the street from the I-10 East Golden Corral Restaurant. Prince and Charlomane Leonard have their home of 3 years all to themselves now, but they’re not happy about it: After a single 3-hour visit from Harris County’s Child Protective Services last month, the couple’s 6 children, ages 2 through 12, were removed from the home on McNair St. near Sheffield Blvd., which was declared an “unsafe environment” for the children. The Chronicle‘s Anita Hassan reports the Leonards had been planning to build a home for themselves on land they own in Liberty County, but couldn’t get a loan.
Prince Leonard built all the shelving and a makeshift loft. There’s a refrigerator, an air conditioner and wood-burning heater. On land behind the storage units, the children and their mother plant a garden every summer, harvesting squash, tomatoes, okra and peppers.
Lacking in the shed is running water, but Prince Leonard fills a 55-gallon barrel daily from a spigot at the end of the storage lot so the family can take baths. They fill jugs of drinking water at grocery stores and use a “compost” toilet, Charlomane Leonard said.
The older children are enrolled at Texas Connections Academy, a Houston Independent School District online school. The shed is also furnished with two computers, one on loan from the school, Charlomane Leonard said.
- CPS takes custody of 6 kids living with parents in storage shed [KHOU]
- Home is where their hearts are [Houston Chronicle]