Formerly homeless Marine now helps move veterans off streets, into homes

It’s an inspiring story of paying it forward and veterans helping veterans.

Darrell Harris drives a large truck full of furniture around Southwest Florida to deliver hope to fellow veterans in need. With each delivery, Harris unloads items like beds, couches, chairs and other items the former U.S. Marine once needed himself to get out of rock bottom and back on his feet.

“I became a disabled veteran while in the service,” Harris said. “I was homeless for a while and Hearts and Homes for Veterans actually furnished an apartment for me.”

Harris said the charity changed his life in 2016, and he’s been volunteering for Hearts and Homes for Veterans ever since to show his appreciation and help his fellow veterans.

This week, Harris and other volunteers with the Fort Myers nonprofit helped homeless Air Force veteran Brandon Faidherbe off the street and into a fully furnished place of his own.

“I was homeless without anything,” Faidherbe said, “now I actually have something which means a lot to me.”

Faidherbe said his new apartment is a huge step towards pursuing his hopes and dreams.

“It just shows you that there’s good people in the world,” the Air Force veteran added.

Harris said seeing Faidherbe feel better about himself and his life is motivation to continue giving back through Hearts and Homes for Veterans.

“It’s rewarding to see you’re actually helping someone that seems to be at his lowest, and it gives him a lift,” Harris said. “It makes them feel good about themselves and now they’ve got things they need they can go take another step forward and do whatever it is they want to do in life.”

Harris said anyone can help veterans in need by giving items or their time through hhveterans.com which was started by Vietnam veteran Don Payton.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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