Darren Duvall

Former Homeless Man to Receive County’s Volunteer Service Award (VIDEO)

Meet Darren Duvall: one of Bethesda Cares’ most valuable volunteers and he is about to become an award winner.

Duvall will be one of the many volunteers honored by County Executive Isiah Leggett at the Annual Montgomery Serves Awards on April 27 at Imagination Stage in Bethesda.

The recognition comes after almost two decades serving lunch to homeless people in the community.

He knows what it’s like to be homeless. He lived on streets and was able to receive a housing voucher to have a place of his own.

“Once you have your own place, you don’t have to worry about other people. But you know, I’m more of a person to myself. But if I come out and help somebody else is a whole different thing,” Duvall said.

Darren Duvall Lawrence Blake, food coordinator at Bethesda Cares, said Duvall used to sleep at Bethesda House- a shelter that recently moved from Cordell Avenue to 5320 Marinelli Road in Rockville.

“Bethesda House was a shelter and Darren used to come there every night and sleep. In the morning time he used to get up and help us clean. The rest of the guys go,” Blake said adding “Once I got with Bethesda Cares and I found he was sleeping in a shed… that’s when I turned him on to Bethesda Cares.”

Besides serving lunch weekly, Bethesda Cares has outreach programs offering ways to prevent eviction, help people transition out of homelessness, and provides resources such as psychiatric services, prescription assistance, and clothes to people in need.

“Bethesda Cares has three programs… There’s our homeless outreach piece, which is intended to end homelessness, and when I say end homelessness I don’t mean on the planet I’m mean right here in our community,” said Amy Freeman, Bethesda Cares’ development director.

The nonprofit serves more than 15,000 meals every year.

According to Blake that is the way Duvall found to give it back, and for the past 18 years that is exactly what he does.

Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at Abarros@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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