If you close your eyes and think back to the early beginnings of our existence – you can well imagine that some people were without home. Homelessness may very well be the oldest societal problem in the history of mankind. It impacts young and old, rich and poor nations; it’s not gender based or knows not ethnic roots.
What is most troubling to me is the WHY? Is it simply because it’s not a priority to governments? Does humanity shoulder any of the responsibility? By humanity, I’m speaking of the ‘we’ as a collective peoples. Just look at the accomplishments ‘we’ have achieved. The ‘we’ can accomplish ANYTHING we set our minds on – including solving HOMELESSNESS.
As I’ve reported on many times from my microphone – homelessness is a national tragedy here in America. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, last year, 578,424 people were homeless. 69 percent were staying in special programs for homeless people; 31 percent were living in unsheltered locations, i.e. sleeping on doorways, under bridges, or living in their car – if they have one. Surprisingly, nearly one-quarter of all homeless people were children under the age of 18. Almost 50,000 veterans were homeless on a single night. Just fewer than 10 percent (4,722) were women. More needs to be done to make homelessness a thing of the past – and that’s exactly how Brink Thinker Kevin Adler felt!
“Someone who’s just homeless Joe or Jane to you or I could be the most important person in the world to that one person that’s looking for them. That’s what motivates this,” says Kevin Adler.
The ‘this’ that Adler is referring to is his life changing project called MIRACLE MESSAGES. Adler creates a video message, posts it to YouTube and then through the power of social media – attempts to connect the homeless person with their family and/or friends. His goal is to reunite MILLIONS OF HOMELESS PEOPLE with their families through YouTube and social media.
The ‘why? Adler says “In memory of my Uncle Mark I’m traveling across the country with volunteers and helping folks just like my Uncle Mark reunite with their families before it’s too late.” Adler established ‘Miracle Messages’ in 2014 in honor of his Uncle Mark – who lived on-and-off the streets for 30 years. He says his idea was simple: “I wanted to do something using technology to help my homeless neighbors be seen as human.”
What are the chances it could be your dad, your sister or brother, an uncle perhaps? A buddy from the military, a friend from college? And then Adler hits it head-on when he says “be seen as human”.
The Miracle Messages website tells the story: We started in San Francisco with a walk down Market Street a few days before Christmas. A volunteer and I asked the homeless people we met if they would like to record a video message to a loved one. That’s when we met Jeffrey. He recorded a Miracle Message to his sister. We posted the video on Facebook, not knowing what to expect… within an hour, Jeffrey’s sister was tagged in the post! Within weeks, $5000 was raised by his hometown. Within a month, Jeffrey was on the phone with his sister for the first time in 20 years.
Could this happen again? We tried again, this time in partnership with St. Anthony’s. That’s how we met Johnny, who hadn’t seen his siblings in 33 years. Three weeks after posting his video, Johnny’s family flew out to reunite with their brother, who had been a missing person for 22 years.
Here are some of the incredible stories that Miracles Messages have on their channel: