Jasmine Cornett has no idea how someone knew that her uncle was missing, and had actually found him out after 2 decades of anonymity. Back in 2018, she received a message from LinkedIn which had information about her uncle. The message also had a video that featured her uncle Wayne. The message linked her to Miracle Messages, a non-profit organization that works towards reconnecting long-lost family members to each other.
According to Cornett, “I had lived in the San Francisco area my entire life, and he was just sitting on the steps of the busiest BART station. I probably passed by him hundreds of times without even knowing. He was almost like a statue that you would just pass by.”
Kevin Adler, the founder of Miracle Messages got this idea when he found homeless people in his city. He wondered if there ever would be a way to reconnect to their old lives. It is also important to mention that Adler’s uncle himself died homeless, so he was obviously influenced by that.
According to Kevin, “I didn’t know their stories. I didn’t know who they were. I didn’t have any particular connection to them. So I just began by really listening to people on the street, having conversations, wanting to hear their stories, and seeing what was said.”
Miracle Messages work in a very simple way. The employees under this non-profit organization roam the streets in search of homeless people, who are then informed about their project. If they then choose to participate, someone would make a personalized video and the net developers would go on an investigative spree online.
While some of the families are easily located, in certain cases lack of technology makes it very difficult for Miracle Messages to locate the family in question. In many cases, it is the participant’s lack of desire to be acquainted with people that creates all the problems.
Uncle Wayne, Cornett’s uncle in question didn’t want to reveal himself to anyone, owing to his schizophrenia, and his stints in prison. He believed that he would get back when he was capable and stable enough to do so. Well, it is good luck that he got introduced to Miracle Messages who helped him out.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness mentioned in one of their many reports that there are close to 120,000 homeless people in the country. The only viable way of dealing with this problem would be to ensure healthcare and employment is adjudicated to all. But there is always a ‘relational poverty’ at work, which makes it wholly difficult for people to survive. Going away from one’s family is one of the main reasons for homelessness, and Adler believes that it should be the primary motive of the government. Reconnecting is the only solution.
And Miracle Messages did help a lot. Uncle Wayne is off the streets and living a healthy, successful life with no further issues. The Cornetts have seen to it that he wasn’t in dire need of anything. They also gave him a landline which ensures that he is in contact with the family all the time.
Adler’s plan of putting Miracle Messages on the map is in full throttle now, as he has tried setting up his networks in several places in the world. People can also connect to them on their website, the cell phone app, and the 1-800-Miss-You hotline.
Miracle Messages has greatly helped people reconnect to their families after spending years in absolute anonymity.
Image: Jasmine Cornett