Broward deputies buy supplies for homeless mother, 10-year-old son

PEMBROKE PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies from the Pembroke Park substation were responding to a call when they spotted a homeless mother and her young son and bought them some much-needed essential supplies.

BSO Deputy Arielle Dickey and her squad members were responding to a call in an industrial area off State Road 441 on April 19 when they noticed Davana Desselle and Da’von, her 10-year-old son.

“We were on a call, just a disturbance call, and we saw a mother standing there with her child wondering what they were doing out so late,” Dickey said.

“They came in closer,” Desselle said. “They were off 441. They came in closer, and they just started talking to us.”

Desselle lives in a black van with her son. She said she is usually able to find odd jobs in retail, cleaning and even singing in casinos.

“I had a few dollars, so I just bounced from hotel to hotel,” Desselle said.

Then, the coronavirus pandemic struck the region, and an acquaintance allowed them to stay in the van.

“I moved everything from back here to up here,” Desselle said to 7News cameras while showing the inside of the van.

When asked where he spends the day, Da’von said, “Here.”

“Here” is a parking lot behind a business. The 10-year-old has a few toys and a school board issued laptop for school. His bed is the vehicle’s front seat.

“It’s really hard. It’s really hard. It’s really hard,” Desselle said.

Desselle told the deputy she’s too afraid of COVID-19 to go to a shelter, so the van is where her son is spending his childhood.

“Especially being a single mom, I understand where she’s coming from,” Dickey said. “Being a single mom, having to raise a child in the position she’s in, it kind of hit me.”

Dickey and her fellow squad members decided to do what they could, which put a smile on the 10-year-old’s face.

“Happy, surprised that they came over and give us food and snacks, drinks,” Da’von said.

“My heart goes out to people, and it’s like I would give my life, and I have,” Desselle said.

Deputies said it was a small gesture to let a mom and her son know they’re not forgotten.

Because it was the middle of the night, the snacks was all they could do at that particular time.

Dessell hopes once the COVID-19 crisis passes, she will be able to get a job, and Da’von wants to become a police officer.

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