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  1. #1
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    PA - Quasir Alexander, 2 mos, starved to death, Philadelphia, 23 Dec 2010

    Little 2 month old Quasir Alexander died of starvation and dehydration at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia.

    Travelers Aid is a shelter mandated by the city. Meals are served in a communal dinning room. On December 23rd EMTs were called to the shelter. An autopsy revealed the baby died of starvation.

    It's not at this link, and I'll find the other one as reported on our local news. Quasir has a twin brother and four other siblings who also were staying at the shelter with thier mother.

    Basically the shelter said unless there is overt behavior they do not intervene and are not medically trained. They try to keep it as unobtrusive as possible so people are not discouraged to come into the shelter. Unless they see signs of drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse they do not interfere.

    http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/h...tem/10284-baby-

  2. #2
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    I think I understand the "mission statement" here and I respect it. However, if a person with a disease or disability comes in, don't they make certain that the person is watched over and gets the meds they might need? I would think that a 2 month old twin infant who is homeless would merit a closer look. That is terribly sad and I really wish someone had made a call a little sooner. These at-risk babies who "fall off the radar" are such a critical health issue.

    Fly high, little Quasir. There's now milk aplenty.

  3. #3
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    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/...112734679.html

    Mother in Custody After 2-Month-Old Starves: Police

    "Friday night, Tonya Williams, the mother of Quasir Alexander, was taken into custody, according to police. Sources claim that just before 5 p.m., a warrant was issued for Williams’s arrest. Less than two hours later, she was in police custody, authorities say.

    Quasir Alexander, a two-month-old infant, died on December 23 at Traveler’s Aid Family Services, a shelter in West Philadelphia. Investigators said that the baby starved to death, and ruled it a homicide.

    No word yet on what charges have been filed."

    Breaking news


    More info:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20..._homicide.html

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/...112734679.html

    Mother in Custody After 2-Month-Old Starves: Police

    "Friday night, Tonya Williams, the mother of Quasir Alexander, was taken into custody, according to police. Sources claim that just before 5 p.m., a warrant was issued for Williamsís arrest. Less than two hours later, she was in police custody, authorities say.

    Quasir Alexander, a two-month-old infant, died on December 23 at Travelerís Aid Family Services, a shelter in West Philadelphia. Investigators said that the baby starved to death, and ruled it a homicide.

    No word yet on what charges have been filed."

    Breaking news


    More info:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20..._homicide.html


    Wow! Izzy I didn't even hear that on the news. Thank you.

    I'm not sure if the twins were born after the mom had been living at the shelter or not.

    Agreed as far as the Mission statement about intervention, but I do believe there's resources and would think one of them would be parenting classes.

    Sadly on this New Year Eve nothing surprises me. Especially here.

    Poor little baby. Of all things in this world he's starved. I'm wondering if there's not something more to it. Perhaps he wasn't eating and she figured he was failing to thrive? I don't know. The mom does have four other children so I'd think she'd have an idea though what to look for.

    Amen I don't have any idea how it is to be in the shelter. Let alone with six kids. They have a rehab out there as well. Not directly related to the shelter, but there's some tough women that go through there. Tough as in quite a few have changed their lives around for the very better. Of course not saying this family had anything to do with that.

    We'll have to wait and see how it pans out. I'm also foreseeing a lawsuit somewhere up the road.


    BTW, it's just some historical information. Travelers Aid is housed at Kirkbride which many, many years ago was a hospital for the insane. That tells you how old it is. They still called a mental health hospital that. It's huge, sprawling actually.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filly View Post
    Little 2 month old Quasir Alexander died of starvation and dehydration at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia.

    Travelers Aid is a shelter mandated by the city. Meals are served in a communal dinning room. On December 23rd EMTs were called to the shelter. An autopsy revealed the baby died of starvation.

    It's not at this link, and I'll find the other one as reported on our local news. Quasir has a twin brother and four other siblings who also were staying at the shelter with thier mother.

    Basically the shelter said unless there is overt behavior they do not intervene and are not medically trained. They try to keep it as unobtrusive as possible so people are not discouraged to come into the shelter. Unless they see signs of drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse they do not interfere.
    http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/h...tem/10284-baby-
    Isn't starving a child considered child abuse?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DairyGirl View Post
    Isn't starving a child considered child abuse?
    In this case it's looking like murder.

    I'll find a link to the shelter if I can and what their policies are.

    I'd like to say it's inconceivable that there are so many people in a shelter that someone had to see something let alone the staff. However, people are just trying to deal with their own devastation and their own families so possibly nobody noticed or didn't want to. Even if they did they may not want to intrude as a fight may start and then their family would get the boot. It's extremely difficult here to get an entire family into a shelter so people are just going to do them.

    As far as staff well that I don't know. I am in no way excusing it. Not at all. Just relaying how it can go. The staff may have been overwhelmed. It could have come to someone passing the buck? I don't know. I just heard one of the staff heads on TV say they are not medically trained?

  7. #7
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    Here's the link





    http://www.taphilly.org/

    Enriching children's lives and supporting their parents in self-sufficiency.

    I had no idea they give shelter to stranded travlers either.

  8. #8
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    I used to be a doula and La Leche League volunteer, many moons ago. Along the way, I became known as a person who knew a little about babies. I'll never forget about a call I got from a man in the construction trades, like my husband. He and his girlfriend had recently had a baby and he was a little worried as they were far away from family. They just weren't sure about the little guy.

    We all lived in Petaluma, a very nice suburb of San Francisco. The baby had been born at he hospital there and had left a healthy, full-term infant. The dad was calling me as he'd heard I might have some advice and he was worried as the little one wasn't nursing. I put down the phone and drove over to a neat and tidy condo and traipsed upstairs to meet the one month old and his mother. There were all they typical trappings of a newborn in the house. I was checking everything as I walked through the house. It looked to me like they were a couple who could handle this.

    My heart almost stopped when I saw the baby as the child was near death. Here, this loving set of parents, trying to do everything right, had almost lost their firstborn. They had no idea what dehydration or starvation looked like. They had no idea why he slept all the time. I helped them pack him up and we went straight to the hospital. It gives me goose bumps just to write this as what a blessing that that dad knew my name. The hospital got the little guy on track and hooked the mom up with a home health nurse. I checked in every week for a while. That incident changed the way I looked at infant health. Babies are resilient...to a degree. But dehydration is nothing to fool around about. And preemies and multiples are always at higher risk.

    I agree that an experienced mom should have known here. There's most likely something else going on and that's why she's charged with homicide. Homicide is surely far different than failure to thrive.

    I firmly believe that babies should be seen periodically by home health nurses, doctors, or midwives for the first 3-4 months. It's common practice throughout Europe. Moms have so many questions and babies can be such curious little creatures. If you don't have a support system in place, we can lose one.

  9. #9
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    AN experienced mom.

    Sorry, I just can't help but wonder what this mom experienced, and her children along the way. Whew. I am gonna sit back on this a bit and watch what info developes. RIP little one. At least your suffering was brief on this earth.
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  10. #10
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    That's how Travelers Aid got started, I believe. I think there's a desk, or at least a poster, in most every airport and bus and train station in the world.

    I just read that a full investigation has been ordered by the Mayor. I hope so. If this mom was homeless, she would have been categorically eligible for WIC. With WIC, you have frequent check-ins which involve parenting classes, weigh-ins, and nutrition training. I'm very afraid something else happened here.

    FWIW, a little history lesson:

    http://www.travelersaid.org/

    There's a button for "About us" which takes you to history. And yes, this is connected to the center in Philly where Quasir's family was staying.

    "Travelers Aid International is the association for Travelers Aid agencies and programs in the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, and Australia. Travelers Aid served more than 6.5 million people last year in forty-eight communities, and at thirty-six transportation centers (airports, bus and train stations). Travelers Aid also provided casework services to 200,000 (including homeless persons, and individuals and families in crisis). Each member of the Network is independently managed and provides programs and services that meet the needs of its community....."


  11. #11
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    I am envisioning what a desparate feeling homelessness with small children must be.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    I used to be a doula and La Leche League volunteer, many moons ago. Along the way, I became known as a person who knew a little about babies. I'll never forget about a call I got from a man in the construction trades, like my husband. He and his girlfriend had recently had a baby and he was a little worried as they were far away from family. They just weren't sure about the little guy.

    We all lived in Petaluma, a very nice suburb of San Francisco. The baby had been born at he hospital there and had left a healthy, full-term infant. The dad was calling me as he'd heard I might have some advice and he was worried as the little one wasn't nursing. I put down the phone and drove over to a neat and tidy condo and traipsed upstairs to meet the one month old and his mother. There were all they typical trappings of a newborn in the house. I was checking everything as I walked through the house. It looked to me like they were a couple who could handle this.

    My heart almost stopped when I saw the baby as the child was near death. Here, this loving set of parents, trying to do everything right, had almost lost their firstborn. They had no idea what dehydration or starvation looked like. They had no idea why he slept all the time. I helped them pack him up and we went straight to the hospital. It gives me goose bumps just to write this as what a blessing that that dad knew my name. The hospital got the little guy on track and hooked the mom up with a home health nurse. I checked in every week for a while. That incident changed the way I looked at infant health. Babies are resilient...to a degree. But dehydration is nothing to fool around about. And preemies and multiples are always at higher risk.

    I agree that an experienced mom should have known here. There's most likely something else going on and that's why she's charged with homicide. Homicide is surely far different than failure to thrive.

    I firmly believe that babies should be seen periodically by home health nurses, doctors, or midwives for the first 3-4 months. It's common practice throughout Europe. Moms have so many questions and babies can be such curious little creatures. If you don't have a support system in place, we can lose one.
    You were a doula? Really? That is so cool.

    Thank goodness for your care and concern, Izzy. I believe you. In the case of that couple as you said the place had all the things you need for a baby, but the poor woman had no idea.

    Get this, and it is similar. The woman I worked for and who happened to be my childhood friend had her baby. I was down in the studio and she came down with the newborn. I knew nada about infants. We're cooing over her and she's sleeping. I thought she was a tad skinny but what do I know?

    My friend goes "Oh and she's so good. She only peed her diaper once yesterday". WHAT????????? I was like "Ummmmmmmm Jilly that's not good. Did you give her a bottle of water too. Like plain water with the formula?" My friend freaks and is like "No, am I supposed to?" Here she was hardly taking any formula and now ater.

    Needless to say she was right on with the Pediatrician and my mom. She's a beautiful adult now and perfect, but to this day we'll talk about it. An educated woman with a thriving business and she had no clue. Thought it was like early potty training.

    In this case though I don't think it went down that way.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcox View Post
    I am envisioning what a desparate feeling homelessness with small children must be.
    Horrific. I have never been thank goodness. I have been in a shelter though trying to help a friend.

    Fights. Lots of fights. That's why I am imagining it was possible nobody wanted to get involved. The only place worse would be on the street.

    When children are involved I think frustration mounts. Homelessness is bad enough. You're in a shelter with your kids. Then someone tells you what to do with your kids. Oh nooooooooooo. That's war.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcox View Post
    I am envisioning what a desparate feeling homelessness with small children must be.
    About 12 years ago me and my 2 girls stayed in a shelter when I left my abusive husband. It wasn't too bad. We wound up in a very small town. I don't think there were any other kids there, a few other women. We had our own room and it was very nice. The county we were in had a lot of money then and within a week we were in our own new apartment curtesy of their social services. They really helped us get on our feet. My girls still talk about it. They thought we were on vacation because I tried to keep it positive when we ran out of the house with the clothes on our back. I told them we were going on an adventure.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DairyGirl View Post
    About 12 years ago me and my 2 girls stayed in a shelter when I left my abusive husband. It wasn't too bad. We wound up in a very small town. I don't think there were any other kids there, a few other women. We had our own room and it was very nice. The county we were in had a lot of money then and within a week we were in our own new apartment curtesy of their social services. They really helped us get on our feet. My girls still talk about it. They thought we were on vacation because I tried to keep it positive when we ran out of the house with the clothes on our back. I told them we were going on an adventure.
    You're a fabulous mom, DG. That must have been so difficult for you trying to be calm and making it seem fun for them.

    I'm glad you are all safe.

    Philadelphia is a huge city and the resources are not too good and looking worse.

    Again Bless you and your girls.

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