Lakewood, Co. James Schweikhard 41 and his 10 year old daughter recently moved to Lakewood, Co. for opportunities and a fresh start. All that they have fits into th back of his pick up truck and resources for the two of them are little else. They have been living on a day to day existence. School officials were concerned about the safety and welfare of the 10 year old who was enrolled in school there and called the local Police to do a welfare check of the child.
Officer James Butler investigated the report of the 10 year old who was living in a vehicle and wanted to see what he could do to help.
He interviewed Schweikhard and looked inside the vehicle and saw that all the father and daughter owned was inside the vehicle and that the two had indeed been sleeping and living inside it.
Schweikhard spoke with 9 News and said “I saw them looking at my truck, I said, ‘Officers, what is going on?'” Schweikhard said. “[He] said ‘We’re trying to help you.’ I said ‘Ok, I can accept that.”
But still Schweikhard was not accustomed to getting help from law Enforcement Officers. His luck had gone from bad to worse as well. His vehicle had broken down. yet the man was still ensuring that his daughter made it to school. However because the vehicle had broken down he had lost his job. Future prospects were grim and paying for repairs must have seemed nothing short of impossible.
However Officer Butler enlisted the good will of Jere Burton, the owner of Sun Valley Automotive who arranged to tow the vehicle via Ace Towing to his shop. Burton agreed to do the repairs and pay for the parts out of his own pocket to assist the Schweikhard family. Burton said it “Feels really different to help someone who you know is down on their luck,”
Officer Butler arranged for temporary shelter for the father and daughter where they stayed while their vehicle was being repaired.
When other officers from Lakewood Police heard about the incident they decided that they should help as well and are currently looking for a more permanent residence for the father and daughter to reside in.
Officer Butler said “It was the right thing to do,” he said. “Because at any point in time in our lives anyone of us can be in that same situation offering assistance to another human being is the right thing to do.”