Baltimore mom famous for smacking rioting son is now homeless

Posted at 10:42 AM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 10:42:55-04

BALTIMORE — A mother who became an Internet icon after fiercely disciplining her teenage boy during the 2015 Baltimore riots is now homeless after her son accidentally set fire to their house, according to WBFF.

Dubbed Baltimore’s “Mom of the Year,” 43-year-old Toya Graham said her son Michael, 17, was alone making chicken tenders at her home Saturday afternoon when the blaze started.

“I had stepped away to the bathroom real quick,” Michael said. “When I got back, there was smoke and fire coming from the pan.”

Not knowing what to do, Michael said he threw water on the grease fire, which only helped it spread. After calling 911, Michael was forced to run from the Druid Hill Avenue home.

Graham said she has no renter’s insurance and is struggling to find a way forward.

“I’m tired of the struggle, I feel broken,” she said, tears falling down her cheeks during the interview. “You try to hold on because you try to do everything, you try to be strong for your children. You try, but this is a lot.”

Graham said she doesn’t blame her son, but admits she’s still angry. Despite her frustration, she said, the most important thing is that he wasn’t hurt during the fire.

A family has started a GoFundMe page for Graham as she tries rebuild.