WATCH | How one video message at a time is reuniting families separated by homelessness
When you see a person living on the street, do you think about the home they came from?
Or do you see the end result of a chain of circumstances that led to a person becoming isolated from their family and friends?
For Kevin Adler, pondering these questions changed the course of his life in San Francisco.
Over a 30-year period, his uncle lived on and off the streets. After his death, something stirred in Adler – a desire to reconnect homeless people with their loved ones.
“Homelessness is not just the loss of a physical home,” Adler says. “It’s often the loss of social connections as well.”
Becoming homeless doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the gradual degradation of one’s place in the world.
Many homeless people don’t have phones, access to technology, or sometimes the courage to reach out.
Subsequently, they’re effectively cut off from everyone they know. So Adler started Miracle Messages to cast a lifeline for his neighbours experiencing homelessness.
Volunteers for Miracle Message enable people living on the streets to send video messages to their long-lost loved ones.
The average time of separation is 15 years. ‘Digital detectives’ track down connections, and with the aid of volunteers and employees, people are reunited with their families.
With the support system of families, friends, and religious networks, many people will not become homeless.
The erosion of social links is the final step before living on the street.
Our relationships are crucial to our survival, and the need for human connection is the force that drives each of us.
“Everyone is someone’s somebody,” Adler says. Through his work, over 375 reunions have occurred. His commitment to seeing people reconnected is transforming lives across the nation.