STOCKTON, Calif. – A homeless Northern California boy and his father are getting help from strangers after a picture of the 5-year-old got widespread attention online.
Tsukiko Jack and his father, Anthony Whigham, live in squalor in the city of Stockton. Whigham says he does his best to provide for his son, but adds what his son really needs is stability.
"He’s healthy and happy and as far as he’s concerned he’s living a normal life," Whigham said.
Whigham says his trailer burned down when Tsukiko was just a toddler. They have been on the streets ever since.
"Him first, me last, and a lot of times that’s my whole day. It’s just making sure every day he has a normal, healthy life," Whigham told KTXL.
A photograph of Whigham and his son was shared on social media, which started a flood of worry from the community, from people like William Crockett.
"That breaks my heart to see him out there, struggling," Crockett said.
For the past 24 hours — Whigham says people like Crockett have been donating items to keep little Tsukiko warm and fed.
But he’s also had unwanted attention.
“The post on Facebook is not grounds to start your own investigation right there on the spot and detain me and my son for hours," Whigham said.
Despite the difficult conditions, Whigham says his son knows he’s doing his best.
“He does need to wake up in a stable environment in the same place every day, in the same bed, in the same bedroom," Whigham said. "I would love that."