DALLAS - After three children were found living in a shed without running water behind an Oak Cliff home, the landlord now wants the family to move out.
Jacob Ortega was visited by Child Protective Services last Thursday after someone in his neighborhood expressed child welfare concerns about the family to the agency because Ortega's three youngest kids were left inside a tiny garage “backhouse” being renovated. The shed has electricity but no running water.
“The two that I do believe did it, they’ve known me for over two months,” Ortega said. “It’s kind of confusing to me if you really thought I was that way, but I don’t hold no judgment.”
His two girls and son were in school Monday in Grand Prairie where they are staying with a family member after CPS removed them from Ortega’s home. Neighbors gifted them with school supplies.
“We have three bags full of supplies that they came and gave us,” said Ortega. “They got it all.”
Ortega took FOX 4 cameras inside the ‘big house’ where his mother is staying. She rented the property April 1 with the agreement her son would make repairs in lieu of any down payment. He showed pictures of what the home was like before they moved in and the work he has done to try and fix it up.
“The living area and the whole ceiling was actually on the floor,” said Ortega.
But after the attention of last week of CPS, police and news cameras, the landlord wants the family to go. Ortega says he’s not bitter.
“It’s a blessing that came out of it.” said Ortega. “They're in a place, good hygiene, and this issue is gonna get taken care of.”
Ortega still looking for work and for answers as to where his family will go if they are not able to stay in the house he is now repairing.