Houseless 3-year-old hit by car suffers fractured skull on father’s birthday

Them & Us Media recently introduced readers to a houseless family barred from Josephs House & Shelter in Troy on Tuesday after staying eight months at the temporary housing facility.

If you didn’t read it, here’s a brief run-through:

  • Last fall, Troy resident Dan Griffin lost his job, car, and apartment while tending to his postpartum fiancée, Kayla Dzembo, and premature son, Jackson, at Albany Medical Center.
  • Falling on hard times, the now-40-year-old father and 26-year-old mother lived at the Josephs House throughout COVID-19 with Jackson and their 3-year-old son Jordan.
  • During the experience, the couple claimed to experience harsh conditions, had their sons witness beatings and drug use, and allegedly received meager support from family advocates to find housing.
  • Rensselaer County Department of Social Services told the family that their short history of houselessness and poverty limited them to qualify for a $700 housing allowance.
  • In September, DSS requested Griffin, unemployed, to pay $144 a week for lodging to stay at the shelter. He refused.
  • The couple claimed that a Josephs House family advocate failed to bridge communication with a state administrative tribunal for a fair hearing over Griffin’s refusal to pay DSS. Missing the hearing, the family lost a chunk of public assistance benefits and were evicted from the Ferry Street unit.

Thursday was Griffin’s birthday — a celebratory pause in an otherwise harsh year for the family. It took another tragic turn.

During a surprise celebration at his brother’s residence in Hillside, Jordan chased after a dog across West Sunnyside Way. Griffin attempted to catch him.

Jordan was hit by a car traveling between 10 and 15 miles-per-hour around 5:30 p.m. Griffin recalled his son flying 20 feet from the collision before hit the ground.

The female motorist stopped her car immediately after the accident. Griffin and Dzembo remain undecided on pressing charges.

“I couldn’t get there fast enough to get him,” Griffin told Them & Us Media in a message. “I tried bro.”

Griffin stayed in an ambulance alongside Jordan as the boy was transported by Troy Rescue Squad to Albany Medical Center.

Jordan has been diagnosed with a fractured skull at the hospital.

Dzembo asked for prayers in a Facebook post following the incident.

You can assist the family on GoFundMe.

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