It was a tragedy covered by all the local papers: Sisters Ibanez Ambrose, 2, and Scylee Ambrose, 1, died after a valve popped off the radiator in their bedroom on Dec. 7, filling it with scalding steam. And while that bedroom was in the Bronx, the family wasn't from New York City. The New York Times digs into the family's "long drive from nowhere" and into the city's homeless population, and how they ended up in the temporary housing where things went so wrong. Parents Pete Ambrose and Danielle McGuire shook the dust of Houlton, Maine, off their feet in the summer of 2015, abandoning a town that hugs the Canadian border and is rife with drug woes and poverty—things that dogged them, and that they wanted to escape as they started their family.
They hoped they'd find it in a city "that is obligated by court order to give shelter to anyone who asks," write Nate Schweber and William Neuman. Regulations allowed them to stay in a homeless shelter for a 10-day period as their case was reviewed. Rejections came, and they ended up reapplying 10 times before a caseworker determined they had no "home" to return to and secured for them a city-funded apartment on Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx. In August 2016, Ambrose expressed distress over their location on Facebook, writing "the neighbor hood is riddled with automatic gunfire everyweekend ... we r completely and utterly misseable." That misery would grow exponentially four months later. Read about how they're managing in the aftermath of the girls' deaths via the full piece at the Times. (Read more Longform stories.)