Every day, when the school officials observed the little girl arriving at school, they noticed that she was always late and exhausted. No matter what day of the week it was, she never seemed prepared for her classes or had enough energy to make it through all of them without threatening to fall asleep during class time. After the girl’s father relocated her from Colorado to Oklahoma, the school contacted local law enforcement to investigate the safety of the little girl by inspecting her father’s SUV.

James Schweikhard was yearning for change, so he picked up and left his life in Colorado behind to start anew in Oklahoma. He loaded all of his belongings into his SUV and hit the road with his 10-year-old daughter by his side.

“I packed up everything that we own in the truck, and … we just drove here,” the father said. “It was more of a risk staying in Oklahoma. I couldn’t get a job for anything, couldn’t get a place to live.”

James finding a job was difficult as the Oklahoma economy wasn’t doing well. He and his daughter lived in his Suburban SUV until it broke down after they moved. James had to walk his daughter to school every morning, which was heartbreaking considering they were homeless.

The girl’s school contacted the police after they became concerned that the 10-year-old and her father were living in their SUV. The school suggested that an officer perform a welfare check. James Butler, a Lakewood Police Officer, got a call and went to James’s SUV to see what was happening.

“I saw them looking at my truck. I said, ‘Officers, what is going on?’” James told KUSA. “[He] said ‘We’re trying to help you.’ I said, ‘Ok, I can accept that.’”

James continued, “I’m not used to getting help from cops.”

James explained his living situation to Officer Butler, which he didn’t feel good about, but wanted to be truthful since Butler seemed like he genuinely wanted to help James and not make things worse.

“It was the right thing to do,” Butler said. “Because at any point in time in our lives, any one of us can be in that same situation – offering assistance to another human being is the right thing to do.”

Butler and other compassionate police officers with the Lakewood Police Department not only found James and his daughter a place to stay, but they also took James’s broken-down SUV to get fixed up at a body shop. The towing company and the autobody shop waived their fees to help the homeless father and his daughter.

“Feels really different to help someone who you know is down on their luck,” said Jere Burton, the Sun Valley Automotive owner.

Now, James and his daughter are receiving help from Lakewood officers to find permanent housing. The grateful father is ecstatic with the turn of events.

“I think it’s awesome, I think it’s really cool — very unexpected, but very cool,” he stated.