Enlisted to Help: 2 Broward women reach out to homeless vets

(WSVN) - We’ve all seen homeless people on the street, but not many of us make it a mission to help them get their lives back. That’s just what two Broward women are doing. 7’s Brandon Beyer has the story.

A patch of green next to Fort Lauderdale’s busy Southwest 27th Avenue is the place two veterans call home.

Kelly Mansfield: “This is not easy out here.”

Kelly Mansfield served in the Coast Guard. His friend, Donald Davis, is an Army veteran and a Purple Heart recipient.

Donald Davis: “I enlisted to go to Vietnam. I enlisted for combat. I got hit by shrapnel.”

Davis is 71 and suffers from seizures. Mansfield, 57, has trouble walking. They say a run of bad luck put them out on the street, and for the last few months, life has been hard.

Then Starr McCall stepped in.

Starr McCall: “Good morning, gentlemen!”

Starr lives nearby and noticed the men living here and sleeping on the ground.

Starr McCall: “I got you guys breakfast.”

Kelly Mansfield: “Aww, thank you.”

When they told her they were veterans, she knew she had to help.

Starr McCall: “I don’t think it’s fair that our veterans are sitting out here homeless, with nowhere to go, with no help. They served and fought for our country, and they deserve to have the finer things in life.”

Starr and her friend Caravan brought the men food and first aid, covering the open sores on Davis’ arms.

Starr McCall: “He needs to go back to the hospital.”

Caravan Lee: “They touched my heart. They’re homeless, with nothing. They need food, they need shelter.”

They also needed clothes and toiletries, so the women went shopping.

Caravan Lee: “Got his belt.

Starr McCall: “Yes. T-shirts. That’s for Mr. Davis. That’s for Mr. Mansfield.”

Starr put out a plea for help on Facebook and started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help buy medicine and other necessities.

Kelly Mansfield: “They put a smile on my face. I mean, it’s not because of the giving, it’s because they care.”

When you are homeless, a little kindness goes a long way.

Donald Davis: “Without her, I don’t know what the heck I would have done. I’m tired of living out here like this.”

The men don’t have phones, so on this visit, Starr reached out to the Veterans Administration, calling the crisis hotline.

Starr McCall (on the phone): “It’s about housing and trying to get Mr. Davis’ benefits started back. He’s homeless.”

She hoped calling the crisis hotline would get them the help they need.

Starr McCall: “They really appreciate the small things in life. It would break my heart if anything was to happen to them.”

Her call made a difference. The VA picked up Mr. Davis the next day and took him to the VA Hospital in Miami.

Mr. Mansfield was admitted to the Broward Addiction Recovery Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Mr. Mansfield is still being treated at the addiction center. Unfortunately, Mr. Davis has refused the offer of shelter. Starr says she’ll keep checking on him and working with the the VA on his behalf. She hopes eventually he takes advantage of one of their programs and is off the streets for good.

If you know of a veteran in need of help, click on the link below.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Veterans Crisis Line

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