3 Children Found Living in Backyard Shed in Dallas: Police

Dallas police say three children are staying at a relative's home with their mother after they were found living in a shed.[[375861611,C]]

Officers responded to a welfare check Thursday at about 9:30 p.m. to a home in the 3600 block of Maryland Avenue.

When they arrived, they found the three children, ages, 6, 8 and 13 living in a backyard shed with two adults. There was no running water or food, police said.

“I should be doing better, but I’m doing my best," said father, Jacob Ortega.

Previously homeless, Ortega said he moved his wife and kids onto the property at the beginning of April.

Per an agreement with the landowner, Ortega said he was fixing up a house next to the shed, so that they could eventually move into it.

"We are barely trying to get on our feet and make it," said Ortega. "Before that, we were living in a motel, you know what I mean?"

Ortega said he was hoping to have his family into the house soon.

Currently Ortega's mother and oldest son are staying inside the house, however, Ortega would not let NBC 5 look in the home.

Recently, the rental agreement over the house went south when Ortega contends the property owner neglected to pay an old water bill, which now totals approximately $2,400.  

According to Ortega, water service was shut off April 6. Since then, they've been using the showers at their relatives' homes.

NBC 5 tried to reach the landlord for comment, but calls were not returned. 

"My mom already paid rent for this month," Ortega said. "And now this water...we are stuck in the middle.

Child Protective Services said they are working to connect the family with resources to help them get back on their feet. However, until then, the children will not be returning to the property.  

Next week, CPS will likely revisit with the family to discuss further options.

NBC 5's Caroline Connolly contributed to this report.

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