The tall, brown house resembling a mosque is quieter and emptier now.

Glenda and Herbert Hill’s children are no longer home.

Their presence made the shabby, oddly structured abode appealing. They were
the nine reasons for moving into the home underneath the All-America Bridge
in North Akron.

But earlier this year, authorities tore the family apart. The Summit County
Children Services Board gained temporary custody of the children after
determining that the house in which they were living was unfit and without
sufficient food.

Herbert and Glenda Hill insist they aren’t bad parents, just poor ones. And
it’s not right, they say, to lose their children.

During the last two months, an Akron Beacon Journal reporter and
photographer have followed the Hills as they have struggled to do what they
must to reunite their family.

The Hills were charged with multiple counts of child endangering. Police
and social workers accused them of having a dirty home with electrical
problems, glassless windows and no edible food besides pita bread.

“They come in and see a house messed up, but we were fixing it up,” Herbert
Hill said.

The house was in decent shape for them to be such a large family, Glenda
Hill said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group with an
office in Cleveland, has been working with CSB to find Muslim foster

“I know (CSB) is looking out for the best interests of the children, but
they need to look out for the religious rights of the children and make
sure those rights are protected,” said the council’s Cleveland office
director, Julia A. Shearson.

“This would be a great chance for the interfaith community to pull together
to restore the sanctity and dignity of a family.”

CONTACT: CAIR-Cleveland, Julia Shearson, 216-830-2247, 216-440-2247,


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