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Homeless advocate Marvin Heery passes on; leaves legacy

Homeless community advocate Marvin Heery passed away at age 62.
Homelessness in Savannah

Unless you are an active advocate for the homeless community, you've probably never heard the name Marvin Heery. As far as most of the world knows, he was no one special. Yet in Savannah, GA, Heery leaves a lasting legacy.

He had everything he needed to be successful in life: a degree in computer science from North Carolina State University (1973), a steady job, and he was even a graduate of Step Up Savannah’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy (2012). Homelessness was not on his bucket list. Unfortunately, things didn't quite work out in 2009 when a failed business venture left him without a roof over his head.

It was a long road back to a "normal" life. He spent time living in motels and eventually found his way to Grace House at Union Mission, where he found the support he needed to escape his situation.

After getting back on his feet, he embarked on what he called his "personal ministry" to combat homelessness and poverty. He was a champion of the Housing First model and was one of the founders of Housing First Savannah. He called on local churches and street ministers to create an interfaith task force to be creative and passionate about finding solutions to homelessness in the area. For years, he fought tirelessly, transforming the lowest point of his life into his life's work.

Those who knew Heery describe him as encouraging, a great leader, supportive, wise, passionate, dedicated, and caring. His Facebook page has been memorialized with hundreds of messages from those who knew and worked with him. Dozens of people have posted stories about how he personally impacted their lives.

Although Marvin Heery's time on earth has come to an end, his legacy continues in the hearts and minds of many.

Please click here for memorial service information.

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