Community offers help to Roy after viral video

Roy was the subject of a viral video about his panhandling

Roy's family and community members are coming together to offer help. (KOIN)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Family and community members are coming together to help Roy, who was the subject of a viral video last week.

Jimmy Severs, a local man, saw Roy getting into his newer model truck after panhandling and confronted him, accusing him of not really needing money.

After the video was seen more than 40,000 times, now more than 118,000, members of Roy’s family recognized him and came forward in his defense.

Roy’s brother, Ralph Heiser, told KOIN 6 News there’s a lot more to Roy’s situation than an outsider would be able to see.

Roy was the subject of a viral video confrontation after a man saw him driving this truck after panhandling. (KOIN)
Roy was the subject of a viral video confrontation after a man saw him driving this truck after panhandling. (KOIN)

‘There’s still a lot of people out there saying ‘why is he driving that newer truck’ but that’s the only thing he has left in his life,” Heiser said. “So I mean you take that away from him, I don’t know what will happen to him.”

Roy’s family said he often sleeps in his truck when he can’t afford a motel room. Roy also suffers from mental illness, and he lost his wife and daughter not long ago.

Family and friends told KOIN 6 News that they’ve tried to help Roy, but he doesn’t always listen.

Since the story came out, help is coming from all over. Random strangers have donated clothes, gift cards and someone even offered to detail his truck.

Roy’s family is thankful for the support.

“I know there are a lot of good people in the world, but I didn’t know it would go this big,” Heiser said.

And more good news for Roy, his brother found him a place to live. KOIN 6 News also learned he will be meeting with a doctor to help with his mental health issues.

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