Johnny Bobbitt is reportedly homeless and asking for money on the Philadelphia streets less than a year after he selflessly helped a stranded person, earning him viral attention and hundreds of thousands in crowdfunded donations.
In October 2017, Kate McClure ran out of gas on the interstate. Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, then suggested she get back in the car and lock the doors so she could be safe while he walked to the nearest gas station to fill a can using his last $20. McClure was so overwhelmed with the act of kindness she started a GoFundMe campaign with the intention of raising $10,000—enough money to buy Bobbitt a vehicle and give him first and last month’s rent for an apartment and enough money to live on for about half a year.
The campaign went viral and eventually raised $402,706. McClure updated the GoFundMe page to explain what she intended to do with all the money:
The first thing on the list is a NEW Home which Johnny will own!! He will never have to worry about a roof over his head again!! Second will be the dream truck he’s always wanted… a 1999 ford ranger (yes I’m serious). There will also be 2 trusts set up in his name, one essentially giving him the ability to collect a small “salary” each year and another retirement trust which will be wisely invested by a financial planner which he will have access to in a time frame he feels comfortable with so when the time comes he can live his retirement dream of owning a piece of land and a cabin in the country. A bank account will be set up for him with funds for every day needs that will get him through until he finds a job. And lastly, he will be donating to a few organizations and people who over the last couple of years have helped him get through this rough patch in his life.
But that’s not exactly what ended up happening with the funds, according to a report from Philadelphia newspaper The Inquirer, McClure let Bobbitt stay in a camper on her family’s rural property in New Jersey, near where McClure lives with her boyfriend Mark D’Amico. Instead of the Ford Ranger, the couple gave him a used SUV, which reportedlybroke down. They said theyput the camper and SUV in McClure’s name to prevent Bobbitt from selling them, but now those vehicles have been sold by the couple.
Bobbitt told The Inquirer he had a short meeting with the financial analyst but didn’t make any agreements with them and was never provided documents for a trust. Bobbitt also said he didn’t meet the attorney that McClure and D’Amico said they hired for him.
However, now two lawyers at a Philadelphia firm have agree to represent Bobbitt as he tries to determine whether the GoFundMe money was mismanaged by McClure and D’Amico. The crowdfunding company is also investigating the matter. “GoFundMe is looking into the claims of misuse regarding this campaign,” GoFundMe spokesperson Bartlett Jackson said in a statement he shared with Gizmodo. “We will work to ensure that Johnny receives the help he deserves and that the donors intentions are honored.”
[more at gizmodo.com]