Community rallies for homeless family

The Johnson children, ages three and barely five, are getting restless.  For the last five days they’ve been living out of a Honda Odyssey with their mom and dad.  For five days, they were parked in a Walmart parking lot. 

On Monday, they drove to the Turkey Lake rest stop off of the Turnpike.  “We feel more at ease, we can park here without getting in trouble, since it’s technically public, instead of at the Walmart.

FOX 35 first aired their story Monday night.  The family was left homeless after paying the Lake County Sheriff's Office say Antonio Johnson and his wife paid Madalen Miller a $1,500 security deposit to rent a home in Lake County and moved in.  Deputies say the Johnsons soon figured out that they were victims of fraud. 

Miller didn’t own the home, she rented it.  According to her arrest affidavit, Miller had been evicted from the home and deputies say she pocketed the cash the Johnsons paid her.

Thanks to some generous FOX 35 viewers and extended family the Johnson family will be staying at a Kissimmee area hotel. 

“They got us seven days into a hotel, for today until the 10th. That’s a start to get us off the streets for now,” said Antonio Johnson.  

And, another viewer offered up his Orlando condo that’s sitting empty right now. “He said it’s a two-bedroom two bath, he said he’s not renting it out to us, he said it’s just for us to get up on our feet.  I’m very grateful for that because of course we’ll be able to save up some money,” said Antonio Johnson.

After five hot sweaty days living out of their van, this family can’t wait to be somewhere more home-like.