Being poor contributed to Semaj Crosby's death

Tuesday, 09 May 2017, 09:33:53 PM. Poverty didn't cause Semaj Crosby's death, but it likely contributed to it.
Whenever a child dies, it is troubling. But the death of 17-month-old Semaj Crosby, whose body was found underneath a couch in a filthy home in Township, is particularly disturbing. It is a harsh reminder that even as America's economy strengthens, too many of our children still live in poverty. More than 15 million youngsters whose families are too poor to afford basic necessities, according to one estimate. There is much we still don't know about Semaj's life or her death. She lived with her mother and her siblings in a rented house so squalid that officials in Joliet Township later declared it uninhabitable. There were piles of clothes everywhere, a stove that did not work, filthy carpets, garbage strewn about and roaches climbing the walls. That was by no means acceptable, not by most standards, at least. But I wonder where else could they have gone? How many children have we seen with their mothers huddled under blankets in doorways along the Magnificent Mile? Authorities called the residence a "squatters" house because people moved in and out. But it most likely was also a "family home," where relatives and friends stayed when they had nowhere else to go. That's often how poor people live. Investigators have not yet determined how the toddler ended up under a couch that was flush to the floor with no legs. All they will say is that the death is "suspicious." Hours after Semaj was buried Friday, the house burned down early Saturday in a fire that officials say may have...Read more
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