Man Meets Kind Homeless Veteran & Raises More Than $66k To Get Him Off The Streets — 'I Didn't Think Anyone Would Care'

The homeless veteran had all but given up on ever getting out of homelessness, but the kindness of strangers has turned everything around.

homeless veteran a tiktoker raised money for @jimmydarts / TikTok

Homelessness is a plight that befalls a staggering number of U.S. military veterans, and it can be incredibly difficult to escape.

One homeless veteran named Roy had all but given up on ever getting off the streets. But a random encounter changed everything after it inspired an outpouring of help and support for Roy.

A TikToker raised more than $66,000 to get a homeless veteran named Roy off the streets. 

TikToker @jimmydarts creates videos in which he meets random people who are struggling and finds a way to help them via donations from his fanbase of nearly 12 million followers. 


In a recent video, he filmed an encounter with a homeless veteran named Roy who was trying to get himself back to Tulsa, Oklahoma to stay with his son.

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At first, Jimmy pretended to be homeless himself and asked Roy if he could spare a dollar for food. Roy obliged and handed him some change despite being homeless himself, telling Jimmy that any time he gives money to help others, he finds he gets it all back from others helping him. "Sometimes I end up giving every dime," he said, "and then I find more money."


That generous philosophy quickly proved to be true when Jimmy gave Roy his quarters back and instead presented him with $500 in cash.

Roy at first assumed it was a trap, asking Jimmy if he was going to report the money stolen. Roy had reason to be wary — homeless people are often targeted by law enforcement as cities and states across the country pass more and more ordinances effectively making homelessness illegal.

But Jimmy assured him the gift was legit, and Roy elatedly went off to get himself a hotel room for the night. "Now I can get a bath," he said with relief. But the $500 was only the beginning.

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The TikToker began a GoFundMe for the homeless veteran that has so far raised more than $66,000.

Jimmy's GoFundMe, titled "Help Roy A Homeless Veteran Off The Streets!," only set out to raise $20,000 for Roy. That alone would be life-changing money, but the good people of the internet decided they could do much, much better.

Donations poured in, some for just $5 and one for $5,000. As of this writing, it has raised a staggering $66,502 and counting in just five days. "No veteran should have to be homeless on the streets," Jimmy wrote in his GoFundMe. "Let’s change his life forever and raise enough funds for Roy to get a vehicle and a place to stay!"

When Jimmy revealed to Roy what the kindness of strangers had raised for him, he was staggered by the generosity, and his first thought was, "How do I thank all of them?" 

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The homeless veteran said he didn't think anyone cared about him, and that the TikToker's work had shown him that he was loved.

Roy's story shows just how demoralizing and isolating being unhoused can really be. He told Jimmy that it was all becoming a bit too much for him, and he felt like nobody really cared that he was unhoused.

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"If I was to swim out there and drown, nobody would even care," he told Jimmy. "I thought, well, you know, eventually my son would find out. He'd care a bit. But that's about it." When Jimmy told him that Jesus loved him, Roy replied, "He must, but I was beginning to wonder."


Jimmy's gift turned that right around. Roy was flabbergasted by the generosity showed to him when Jimmy sat him down to reveal that his fans had raised tens of thousands of dollars for him. "Wow," he said with his head in his hands, "I'm glad I didn't drown, I would have missed a blessing." 

The situation with homeless veterans in America has thankfully shown signs of improvement in recent years — the number of homeless veterans declined by 11% from 2020 to 2022, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. But veterans are still at higher risk of ending up homeless than other groups, in part due to mental health impacts, such as PTSD, that impact many former members of the military. 

Here's hoping acts like Jimmy's inspire more of us to take care of the unhoused people in our communities. As one TikTok commenter put it, "It breaks my heart that people feel so lonely... [and that] no one would care about them if they left the earth. We should help and love each other." Amen.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.