Kids left alone inside storage unit

New Jersey mother charged after 2 kids found in storage unit

Mother breaks down in court as she tells how she had to live with her two children in a filthy storage unit measuring just 10ft x 5ft

Sheena Johnson faces court, charged with child endangerment, criminal mischief, domestic violence and violating a restraining order.

Sheena Johnson faces court, charged with child endangerment, criminal mischief, domestic violence and violating a restraining order.

This story was from a couple of days ago, and I thank crys for sending in the tip. I have heard of people living in storage units as an alternative to a flat, but I thought it was an urban myth.

Sheena Johnson (27) has been charged with 2 counts of child endangerment after her 5 and 10 year old sons were found all by themselves in a storage unit in New Jersey. She was originally being arrested for criminal mischief  for slashing her ex-fiance’s tyres, but she told police that her two young sons were by themselves in the locker.

In court, Sheena broke down, explaining that she had no other options but to live in the locker. She’d fled her home with her two sons and some stuff, and went to live with a relative. She had a blue with the relative and then moved to a hotel. After that, she spent most of the time moving from hostel to hostel or couch surfing with friends. When she was denied benefits and money ran low, she thought her only option was to live in a storage unit filled with junk.

It's like those old "I Spy" books...

It’s like those old “I Spy” books…

Sheena and the boys would sleep on the mattress, with blankets stacked on top of them to keep them warm. They would eat takeaways and go to friends’ houses so that they could shower and the boys could watch telly. The boys continued to go to school despite their living conditions. What’s even more strange about their locker, is that half the junk in there looks like it’s broken! The chair’s missing a leg (and wouldn’t be practical in a locker), there’s an old grotty bean bag, some old tacky Easter decorations (???) etc. Come on, Sheena, did you really need to grab an Easter basket when you were fleeing your home?

Sheena tried the usual sob story of how she had it so hard growing up. Born to drug addicted parents, working at 14, pregnant by 16, yadda yadda yadda. Listen, sister. You knew how hard you had it growing up, and you probably swore black and blue that you would never put your own kids through that. That’s no excuse. You did not “run out of options”. There were plenty of options. Stay with the friends that let you use their showers and TVs. Go to a women’s shelter. Not fight with your relative and respect the rules of their house that they so kindly shared with you. Living in a storage locker with no electricity or running water may be fine if you’re single with no kids. But it’s just not good enough when you have children. You cannot let their quality of life slip.

Sheena has also been charged with domestic violence and violating a restraining order, which is interesting. I don’t think it’s a case of the helpless woman fleeing in the middle of the night from her violent and abusive husband. She must have been dealing it out as much as she’s been taking it.

Sheena’s attorney is arranging for her to be put in transitional housing where she can live with her boys. Hopefully she will get back on her feet and make a better life for her boys.

  • Laells

    I have been reading this site for 3 years and have never commented. Im sure I’m going to get alot of backlash but I cant resist……In my opinion this woman doesn’t deserve to be on a bad breeder site. 1) Her children were in school 2) their personal hygeine was kept up 3) the fact that she was charged with domestic assault doesnt mean she wasn’t a victim. At some point some women do fight back and yes can be charged for it 4) Her “sob story!” Z might not excuse her living situation but I’m sure it does play a part in what kind of family support she has 5) She kept her children with heri when she could have easily abandoned them or WORSE, which.would have made her life easier. Bottom line she has my sympathy and best wishes. Life is so incredibly hard now for so many of us. I cant imagine having to tuck my precious children in at night in a storage locker but you can bet your ass i would if that’s what it took to keep us together. And seriously when did where we sleep determine what kind of mother we are

    • Charity Vanarsdale Josette

      i agree…i was born in 72 and my 7 year old brother watched me so my mom could work…instead of bashing her why doesnt the journalist of the article above use her education to help this woman get back on her feet and not bash her..i truely believe this should not be on bad breeder site either

      • Aussie Sabbath

        Ahem, refer to rule 5 in “da rulez” on the right hand corner. No one here is a “journalist”. This woman was charged with child abuse and child endangerment because she left young children alone in a society where it’s simply not safe to do so. She had options.

    • Aussie Sabbath

      She had better options than to stay in an unheated, no running water, no electricity storage unit that was not suitable for living in. She had friends. She had a relative that she stayed with until she burned her bridge. There were so many more options than staying in a place completely unsuitable for residential use.

      • laells

        really? living in a place with no electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing determines whether your a good mother or not? Do you have any idea how many people think all of the above things are luxuries beyond their means? This entire article and replies reads to me as though it was written by a very judgmental snob that lives in a lovely little lala land that unworthy common people
        don’t belong in

        • Aussie Sabbath

          Are you insane? Or retarded?
          Don’t you think that, in a developed country like the US, she could even try to do better for her kids?
          Those are basic human rights that she denied her children. The right to running water and a clean, heated living environment. She could do better but chose not to. That is poor parenting right there.
          How about you go live in a filthy shack with no heating or plumbing and see how you like it? You wouldn’t like it, you say? Then why should her kids be forced to put up with that? They have no choice in the matter.
          How strange that you would call me a judgmental snob, just because I also happen to live in a developed country where no electricity and no running water would not be an acceptable standard of living for most people…

          • Muggle

            Aussie, this is the US we’re talking about. It’s on its way to “not being a developed country” anymore because of the stupid and insane politicians who WANT this type of thing to happen– poor people living in inadequate shelter in the sake of “liberty” or whatever the fuck they’re ACTUALLY thinking of. To someone who managed to escape the once-great frying pan of North Carolina (and now lives in the fire that is Virginia), I don’t think she belongs on BB either just for living in a storage unit. Many people are homeless now in this country, and there’s tons of people who just don’t give a shit because they really don’t know how hard it can be.

            Though my sympathy does run out seeing she’s been charged with domestic abuse and violating a restraining order. Something tells me that regardless of whether she can live in a cardboard box or a 5,000 sqft oceanfront manor, she shouldn’t have custody of those kids.

    • JaqMuP

      I sort of agree with you. Not too long ago, I was homeless with my two kids. I tried women/children/family shelters, but was turned away because I had started a job a couple weeks before and made too much money ($10/hr….really?). I tried staying with my mother, but she constantly preached to me how I didn’t “spank” my kids enough – you know, like she “spanked” me when I was younger. The one friend I had that had room for all three of us let us stay, until her husband told her he wasn’t sure he could keep himself from trying to have sex with me – and I’m not even that attractive!! Thankfully the 5 weeks my mom and friend bought me gave me enough time to save up some paychecks and stay at a hotel for a little while and then I had a complete breakdown at work and my boss loaned me the money to rent a house. And that’s a short version of the story, so I can totally see how she could have felt like she had no options.

      However, it seems the charges focus on her leaving them alone in the storage unit. That’s where I disagree. That was not a safe situation to leave two small kids alone in and I’m damn sure she knew it. She was already homeless and, from the looks of it, not making any progress, in her situation, if she left them alone to go to work, I’d have let that job go. I’m sure it wasn’t a $100K a year job that was irreplaceable…..you know, like the lives of her children.

  • Buffettgirl

    I will give her credit for the fact that her boys were still in school. That part impressed me. Other than that, she’s not going to be winning Mommy of the Year anytime soon…

    • Trish

      The worse mom I have ever met always made sure her child was in school because it meant she didn’t have to look at him or deal with him. Sad but true.

      • Aussie Sabbath

        My cousin has a sweet little girl and at one time, she was working 3 days a week (the 3 that her daughter was with her dad) She then put her little girl in daycare for the other 2 days that she was supposed to have her. Her little girl wanted nothing more than her mummy and my cousin would just shunt her off to daycare so she didn’t have to deal with her. No one in the family speaks to her because she uses people and is incredibly selfish.

      • Buffettgirl

        Damn! I hadn’t even thought of that aspect… now I’m bummed out. I hope for their sake it was her desire to see her kids do better than she’s been doing in life that had her diligently sending them off to school.

        • Trish

          I hope so, truly. My first thought was the same as yours until I remembered that horrible child hating wench I knew.