A homeless mother in Arizona was facing child abuse charges Tuesday after allegedly leaving her two young children unattended in an SUV while she interviewed for a job, authorities said.
A witness called police after hearing a child crying inside a Dodge Durango parked outside an office building in Scottsdale, near Phoenix, on March 20, according to an arrest log by the Scottsdale Police Department.
Arriving officers found a 2-year-old boy and his 6-month-old brother inside the SUV, the log stated.
The mother, Shanesha Taylor, returned to the vehicle about 45 minutes later telling officers she had no one to watch the children while she went to the interview, police said.
The 38-year-old mother was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and has since been freed on bond, according to a donation page set up for Taylor, which has generated more than $70,000 in donations.
The woman who created the donation page said she did so in hope of raising $9,000 for Taylor’s bond and legal expenses.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the Arizona community as well as others from around the world,” wrote Amanda Bishop, the page’s creator, on youcaring.com.
Taylor’s supporters have also added a petition on Change.org asking Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to drop the charges against her.
“Her desperation to provide for herself and her children and her lack of options led her to take drastic measures in search of employment,” petition organizer Mariame Kaba wrote. “Ms. Taylor needs support & help rather than incarceration and a criminal record that will surely decrease her chances to provide for her children in the future.”
In addition to the donations and petition, Taylor’s situation has ignited an online debate over social services for homeless parents.
Her children were placed in the care of Child Protective Services.
CNN contributed to this story.