Some of them having been missing persons for decades.
A startup called Miracle Messages is making good on the social venture’s name by miraculously delivering messages from homeless people to their family members, whom they haven’t seen in years and even decades.
It all started in 2014, when Kevin Adler walked the streets of San Francisco a week before Christmas to ask homeless people if they wanted to record a message to their family. He explained that he would attempt to locate their family and send the message. Some of the people he approached said yes, including a man named Jeffrey.
One viral post later, Jeffrey’s sister saw the message and told Adler that her brother had been a missing person for 12 years and that she hadn’t seen him in 24 years. She took a four-day train ride to go see him for the first time in decades.
Adler thought this circumstance was a miracle, and it was, but that doesn’t mean that it was impossible to recreate. So he continued to walk the streets, inspired first and foremost by his uncle who was homeless for 30 years, to record and send more messages.
Since the social venture became a reality, more miracles have occurred, thanks to Kevin Adler and now Jessica Day’s dedication to this cause. Ben reunited with his brother after being separated for 17 years and checked himself into rehab. Isaac met with his family after being gone for 40 years and is now living with them again.
Another homeless man, Alex, was referred to Miracle Messages by a San Francisco city agency when he came in looking for his family. Within 24 hours, he boarded a bus headed straight for them.
Of all the messages that the social venture sends, 40 percent of all reunions lead to stable housing, seeking help with substance abuse, or moving back home with their family. What’s even better is that 90 percent of the family, when reached, is excited to be in contact with their lost loved one. Being rejected by their family is a huge concern for homeless people and is a huge reason for never reaching out to them.
Unfortunately, Adler’s startup can’t be executed on a larger platform and be effective in eliminating homelessness because it doesn’t address the root cause of it: lack of affordable housing. Though there are a number of factors that lead to becoming homeless, such as poverty and disabilities, a lack of housing at an affordable price for everyone, no matter what your income, is what pushes people to live on the streets.
In the meantime, Miracle Messages is continuing its work to connect these lost family members. If you want to help in delivering messages, you can become a volunteer detective or you can donate to the venture.
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