ROSWELL, Ga. — Life has not been easy for a Roswell family.
Michael Walker and his wife, Willa Strong, are living in and out of hotels. Each day since the pandemic hit, their focus has been on surviving and providing for their three daughters.
Walker is on Dialysis battling kidney disease. Their three girls are all non-verbal with Autism.
The pandemic forced Walker to step down from his job at Walmart, since he is high risk for catching COVID. Strong had to stop working, too, to homeschool the girls.
"I lost a lot of faith in the world," Strong said. "I don't have help."
Between Dialysis treatments, school supplies and the cost of living in the metro Atlanta area, the couple said their credit score took a big hit. Now, after months of trying to get back on their feet, they said they are having trouble finding an apartment or home that will accept them.
After more than a year feeling frustrated and trapped inside a one-bedroom hotel room, Walker took to social media for help.
He broke down in an emotional testimony on TikTok sharing his family's situation. The video went viral receiving more than 300,000 views.
People are supporting the family all over the world from Georgia to Ireland. Some even encouraged Walker to launch a GoFundMe page.
So far, strangers donated more than $80,000 to help the family afford a home.
"It gives me goose bumps," Walker said. "For a long time, we felt alone. We felt like nobody cared. And the world proved us wrong."
Not only did they get some relief financially, Strong said the family also found community. She said this helped connect her with other families who have multiple children with special needs.
Strong said, all this support is restoring the faith she once lost.
"This was the push we needed in spirit to build my confidence," she said. "All of this outpouring of love is so healing."
The family plans to use the money raised to finance a loan for a rental home. Walker said he hopes they find a place that is safe and sufficient for his three daughters' needs.
"Despite the trials and tribulations we go through, my kids show me nothing but love," he said.