Detroit family claims wrongful eviction, strangers step in

- For months, a family of four have lived on the streets after they say a landlord forced them out.

Now, a stranger is digging into his own pockets to help the family in need.

Royce Lee Johnson has fallen on hard times. Since October of 2016, he and his family have been living out of motels after he claims they were wrongfully evicted by the landlord of a home on Warwick in Detroit.

Johnson says he and his family were living there under Section 8 Housing and that the landlord was supposed to fix the home.

"Our landlord told us that go to the house for a few days while he fixes up the house and get rid of the bedbugs. But instead of doing that he took all of our Christmas presents and properties and put them on the curb," he said.

A spokesperson with the city said the home is not a registered rental and the owner has been operating illegally as such. While FOX 2 was checking into Johnson's story, we went to the home where an inspector showed up.

The property owner will likely be ticketed and required to register the house.

"But for him to lie to my family like that saying he's going to take care of the house and for us to come back and find or stuff like that, that's not right," Johnson said.

The managers at a Metro PCS store on Middle Belt in Garden City say they've been helping Johnson and his family by paying the cost for their hotel expenses.

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Johnson says more than 10 years ago, he went to prison for a year on a drug charge, which caused him to lose his disability. He says he has been working to turn his life around to give his family a better life.

"I've been trying to get my Social Security back ever since 2005 and it's hard when you have children to support, it's hard when you don't have any help," he said.

FOX 2 tried to contact the property owner but the only address listed for that person is the home on Warwick. The city is continuing to look into this matter to figure out what exactly happened.

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