KENNESAW, Ga - A community is rallying around a Georgia senior citizen. Benny Walker lost his home this week when the owner decided to sell the house. Now his community is making sure he has a roof over his head.
Over the years, Benny Walker has made many friends and touched many hearts while standing at the front of Publix and Kroger in Kennesaw.
"He's a fixture of the community. He speaks to everyone, he prays with them, he has something nice to say to everyone," said Tom Cavanaugh, who said he first met Benny about a decade ago.
For 20 years or so Benny Walker has stood at the front of the local grocery stores to pass the time. He said this is where he comes to connect with people.
"I made a lot of good friends, people, talk to me about different things," said Benny.
"When we were going through some medical issues with our family. He would stop us and pray with us," said Cavanaugh.
Last week, it was Benny who needed help. The house where Benny had rented a room for years was being sold. Soon he would have no place to live.
"Benny was put out two days before Thanksgiving and we just couldn't have that happen," said Cavanaugh.
As a senior citizen on a fixed income, finding a place to live on short, notice just before Thanksgiving, was tricky. Cavanaugh couldn't stand the thought of Benny without a roof over his head. He spread the word of Benny's predicament to friends and neighbors. In less than two days more than $5,000 was raised through this GoFundMe account.
"If we can find Benny the right long-term solution that money will go to help him get settled into a new forever home," said Cavanaugh.
"I felt like crying, I didn't know friends would come do this!" said Benny.
Cavanaugh and others contacted more than a dozen organizations to get help for Benny. They'd like to get him in a senior living facility, but some of the waitlists are up to two years. They've put Benny up in a hotel until a permanent place is found.