Homeless Man Raises Money to Afford a Home for His Autistic Daughters
A Georgian man has received much-needed assistance after making an emotional video to appeal for a home for his autistic daughters. Netizens are determined to render more than monetary services to the homeless family.
Michael Walker, a father of three amazing daughters, was plunged into extreme hardship after being diagnosed with renal failure. He has since strived to survive, undergoing dialysis at least thrice a week.
Aside from his medical challenges, the Georgian man is blessed with a wife, Willa Strong, and three daughters Rukiya, Niara, and Adia, who are autistic.
Despite the hardships, Walker strived for years to look out for his family and provide for them to the best of his ability. However, things took a rougher turn when the coronavirus struck.
The father, who kept a job at Walmart to fend for his family, had to quit as a result of his health challenge, which put him at high risk of developing complications from the virus if infected.
However, the loss of his job made things more difficult for the family, who could barely afford an apartment. The situation forced them to become homeless, seeking handouts from friends and well-wishers to survive. But things only seemed to go from bad to worse.
Homeless man with 3 autistic daughters raises $25K after emotional TikTok https://t.co/R5Elem3Zm4— News19 WLTX (@WLTX) August 13, 2021
Following prompts from his wife, the father-of-three took to TikTok to seek help for his family. In the video, Walker admitted making the video was his last resort as he had nothing else to do given his situation.
He also admitted to being embarrassed by his situation, which often prevented him from talking about it. Breaking down, the man explained that he felt like a failure because he let his family down.
Walker also talked about his family, admitting his three daughters were autistic and non-verbal. Despite all the hardship through the years, his wife, Strong, always stood by him, unwavering and without complaining.
The father praised his wife's resilience, adding that she deserved more than he was able to give her. He also hoped to do more for his family, explaining amid sobs:
"They deserve a house, they deserve to not worry about where we going to be staying month after month and week after week. We have plans and something always seems to come up."
Going further, Walker explained that each time they came close to pulling off a plan, things always spiraled. Speaking to news outlets, Strong admitted that despite the setback the family has encountered, they always strived to pick themselves up and move. She shared:
"Every time a challenge comes up, we say, 'Well, what's the best thing to do?' And we move forward from there."
According to his Gofundme account, Walker and his family have been living in overpriced hotels since the pandemic struck due to their inability to find a home.
Their daughters have also been out of school, and their return didn't seem feasible due to the mask requirements, which would be difficult for the autistic girls to adhere to. Strong explained: "For them, they can't keep the mask around their ears and covering their nose and mouth."
Since sharing his family's predicament, netizens have stepped up to support the family with cash donations, housing offers, and words of encouragement. One TikToker commented:
"You are not failing them! America is failing you! Praying for you and your family. I know things will turn for the better for you. Stay strong."
Many agreed, calling out the system for abandoning citizens and leaving them homeless and unattended once they became sick. Others commended Walker's vulnerability, which was a representation of true strength.
Several people commended the Roswell man for his ability to keep his family together throughout their years of difficulty, while most advised him to explore crowdfunding options to secure aid for his wife and kids. One wrote:
"WE HAVE FAILED YOU. you have failed at NOTHING. you are breaking my heart. Can you share your venmo? Maybe tiktok can help. Happy to donate to you."
So far, Walker's GoFundMe appeal has generated over $107,000, with about three thousand donors. The Georgia dad's story is reminiscent of Simon Easton's, a homeless man who reunited with his family in 2016, 24 hours after making a video appeal on Facebook.
The Washington man had been separated from his family for seven years, all the while being homeless. The reunion, which was filmed by volunteers from Leeds Tent City, left Simon, his mom, and the rest of the family radiating joy and gratitude.
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