Community rallies around single mom living in school parking lot with kids

Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 18:18:01-04

On Tuesday, 7 Action News introduced viewers to a mom who asked a Walled Lake police sergeant a simple question - was it illegal for her to sleep in the car with her two children outside their elementary school? They were homeless and had nowhere to go.

The community is taking action to make sure she and her children have a much more comfortable place to sleep.

Erin Harrison asked Sgt. Heather Kolke if it was illegal to sleep in a car, and as a mother herself, Kolke said she knew she had to get Harrison a place to stay.

Kolke reached out to others for help paying for a hotel room, and even a birthday party for Harrison's daughters Hayden and Abbigale, as Saturday was their ninth birthday.

Inspired by Kolke, Walled Lake Mayor Linda Ackley asked the community on 7 Action News for help getting a long term solution for Harrison, who has worked for four years at the McDonalds at Beck and Pontiac trail.

A father saw the story as he watched to news with his children, who asked him if their family could help.

"He said, 'Dad, what can we do about it?'" said Eddie Osram. "I said, let me see what I can do."

Osram, who owns a Marathon gas station on Wixom Road, said he called fellow business owners and they responded, saying the community gets together and helps those who are part of the family

He said even his children donated, giving away their savings of $341, wanting it to go to the children they saw on television.

More than $2,500 was raised, in addition to clothing for the girls.

Harrison said the money will be used to get them in the home. 

"I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart," she said. "It means the world to my girls to get somewhere."