Corterra Payton, who has an 11-month-old son Duran, was in an abusive relationship and had no job.
One day Payton decided to leave her boyfriend after an argument. She took her 11-month-old son Duran and left her apartment.
But, she had no money and couldn’t get a hotel room to stay for the night.
“It’s very hard, especially if you don’t have an income at the moment,” she said.
She didn’t want to spend the night in her car as she was scared somebody would come with a gun and kill them.
“We are going to be sleeping in the car, somebody going to come up with a gun, kill us, rob us. Either that or they will see me sleeping.”
“A woman, guy, somebody will come by the car and say, ‘Oh, she sleeping in the car with her baby. We fixing to call the police’”, she said.
That’s when she remembered Texas’ Safe Haven law according to which “parents who are unable to care for their child a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place.”
These designated places include hospitals, fire stations, and emergency medical services stations.
Payton decided to leave her son at Fire Station 68.
Captain John Nanninga stepped in to help and comforted her. Payton said: “Thank you, God! Because I know they have the law with firefighters the baby can’t be over 60 days, and they still took him, so I am thankful for that.”
Captain John Nanninga said: “She had no income. She had nowhere to stay. She had nowhere to go. She had no way to feed him. She was out of diapers. She had no food for him, nothing.”
“She couldn’t take care of him anymore and thought, I need put him somewhere that can. She was going to be back for the kid because she obviously cared for the child.”
When Payton came back after an hour, police took them to a Child Protective Services facility so they could spend the night there.
Thanks to Captain John Nanninga for stepping in to help the mother and officers who made sure they had a place to sleep.