PHOENIX - Four children, all under 10 years old, were found sleeping in a locked car Friday morning near 17th and Dunlap avenues.
According to Phoenix police, the children's father was located nearby in a friend's apartment.
The father, who is homeless, told police the children were asleep when he arrived at that location late in the night and he didn't want to wake them all up to move them inside.
None of the children were injured or transported.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety was notified of the incident.
Officers took a report, but no arrests were made.
According to Angels on Patrol, a Phoenix non-profit that provides resources to children and families in crisis, there's been a big shift in the number of homeless people living in cars over the last 8-12 months.
Angels on Patrol's Melinda Cadena recalled a Mesa family living in their car, noting “we have seen an increase in homeless families, having a hard time paying their rent, finding employment.”
The Phoenix rescue mission reports 25,832 people were homeless in Maricopa County in 2015, and 37 percent of Maricopa County's homeless are families -- in most cases, a single mom with kids.
“It’s surprising how kids are able to adapt,” said Cadena. “They’ve been going through it for so long, that’s just part of their routine.”
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