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Posted: February 02, 2015

Detroit man who walked 21 miles to work each day forced to move for his safety

By Samantha Jordan

News965 - Orlando

DETROIT, Mich. —

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UPDATE: James Robertson told police that he did not feel safe in his current home after receiving a new car and being the subject of a fundraiser that has collected over $300,000. The Detroit Free Press reports that crime prevention specialists assisted Robertson with moving to a safer temporary residence. Robertson told police that people had been asking him for money. Robertson has not received any cash yet from the fundraiser, and is meeting with financial advisers who will help manage the man's newfound wealth.

Read the original story below.

Here's a man with a big heart and even more determination.

Each day, James Robertson, 56, walks 21 miles each day round trip just to get to his job. No matter what the weather, Robertson has been hiking it to work ever since his car broke down 10 years ago, he tells the Detroit Free Press.

"By the time Friday comes, you’re mentally and physically drained," Robertson tells the Free Press, saying that he's "extremely tired" by the grueling commute that leaves him only a couple hours to sleep each week night.

His job at a factory pays $10.55 so he says he can't afford a car and the bus only takes him so far to work. The rest he has to walk, consuming large amounts of Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew just to stay awake. The walk only leaves him with a few hours of sleep before he has to do it all over again, but he loves the people he works with so he makes it work.

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His story has reached millions, prompting 19-year-old Evan Leedy to set up a GoFundMe page to help Robertson out. 

"I just used my phone," Leedy told the Free Press. "I created the go-funding site and within an hour we had $2,000." The crowdfunding page has raised over $149,000, according to People.

The funds likely will be managed by a board of professionals who would make sure the donations go towards the cost of having and maintaining a car, including the high auto insurance rates that Detroit motorists pay.

But that's not the only gift Robertson is getting. According to The BlazeRodgers Chevrolet in Woodhaven, Michigan, offered to give Robertson a free 2014 Chevrolet Cruz or Sonic after sales manager Darwin Filey came across his story on Facebook.

Robertson couldn't be more grateful.

However, when it was suggested that a new federal program might temporarily provide a door-to-door public transit service for Robertson, he said he'd rather see those funds used on a 24/7 bus service that everyone can use.

While the donations and offers of cars pour in, Robertson is determined to not miss a shift.

"Where there's a will there's a way."

Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.

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