STOCKTON (CBS13) — A photo of a young homeless boy in Stockton is evoking a reaction from the community. The photo shows the boy sitting in the dirt at a homeless camp. But to many, it appears he is living in a third-world country.
Stockton Police say they say this case is now being investigated by Child Protective Services.
Five-year-old “Suki” Whigham is a young homeless boy just trying to make the best out of his situation. But “Suki” was pictured on Wednesday, sitting in the dirt at a homeless camp, which looks more like a refugee camp in a war-torn country.
“I ended up with no job, no home, just like that,” said Anthony Whigham, “Suki’s” father.
Whigham tells CBS13 it was all downhill after his home burned down and he lost his job at the Old Stockton City Hotel.
“The primary goal is to find a home, a stable environment for him to be raised,” Whigham said.
The five-year-old isn’t going to school, Whigham says, and this homeless camp is his daycare, while his dad picks up side jobs.
“I left him here with someone who has watched him before, somebody heard the babysitter yelling at him through the tent, and that was enough for them to call the police,” Whigham added.
That was Wednesday when the photo of “Suki” was taken. Whigham says he was detained and released.
“I’m gonna keep him fed, and I’m gonna keep him happy and living a normal as possible life,” he said.
Louis Littlewolf says he’s shocked by the number of homeless children out on the streets.
“Karma is gonna come around and swoop these kids up to safety,” said Littlewolf.
A volunteer with a local shelter, Littlewolf says the children are often living in subpar conditions.
“What I would like to see is CPS come in and do a walk through,” Littlewolf said.
CBS13 reached out to CPS on Thursday, asking at what point can the agency step in, but it wouldn’t comment.
With winter just a few months away, Whigham said he will make sure that he provides his son with a shelter to keep him warm.
“If I have to build something out of plywood, I’m gonna keep my son warm.”