CRESTVIEW — Dennis Green easily could be mistaken for a Crestview Manor staffer.
He pushes wheelchair-bound residents to the cafeteria and worship services, helps with Bingo set-ups, keeps residents up to date on weather forecasts, leads daily exercise routines and welcomes new residents with a gift basket supplied by the assisted facility.
However, the Virginia native himself is a resident, and he never turns down an opportunity to assist staffers.
And having a longtime heart ailment and memory loss doesn't deter him.
"Volunteering is something I always enjoy doing," said Green, who's been at the Manor two years.
His efforts are appreciated, staffers said.
"He is the positive ray of sunshine at the Crestview Manor," facility director Becky Brice-Nash said. "He is an integral part of our family."
"There is no one else like him," Sandra Adams, the facility's resident care assistant, said. "He is dependable and reliable."
He's just paying it forward after the Manor and North Okaloosa Medical Center saved him in two different ways, he said.
Green was living in a Pensacola backyard shedwith no power or water just two years ago. But with the Florida Department of Children and Families and Brice-Nash's assistance, he received shelter and renewed purpose.
His Social Security benefits fund his stay at the facility, and NOMC physicians helped him recover from a heart attack in 2012, said Green, who attends services at the First Baptist Church of Crestview.
Those are just some of the reasons he enjoys living — and serving — in North Okaloosa County.
"This whole community has been so wonderful," he said.