A nonprofit by the name of Miracle Messages is helping the homeless reconnect with their family and loved ones. The way it works is volunteers for Miracle Messages canvass the streets, approaching people to let them know about the service they offer. Then, a person can create a message in the form of an informal video and provide a little information about their family. Volunteer “digital detectives” then get to work using social media to locate the family.
In one video, an unshaven man in his 60s said he wanted to get reunited with his mother. Someone asked if he had any other family. He said he did: a brother, sister, and niece. Later, a woman named Jasmine Cornett received a message via LinkedIn that said: “I believe I found your uncle.” Cornett immediately knew it was her Uncle Wayne, who she hadn’t seen in decades. She replied to the LinkedIn message and was put in touch with its source, Miracle Messages.
Within an hour, Cornett was standing in front of her uncle as he sat in his regular spot, on the steps of the Powell Street BART station in San Francisco. The crazy thing is that Cornett lived in the San Francisco area her entire life and has probably passed by him “a hundred times without even knowing.”
The idea that a person could be passed by unnoticed is precisely the reason Kevin Adler, CEO of Miracle Messages, launched the organization. After Adler’s uncle, who was also homeless for 30 years, died, Adler began seeing a link between the people on the street and his beloved uncle, and he began brainstorming ways of helping homeless people. The end result was Miracle Messages, which started in San Francisco but is planning to expand to other cities.