There are over half a million homeless men and women on a given night in the United States. There are a variety of ways that they lose touch with loved ones. It might be something straightforward as a misplaced cell phone. Sometimes feelings of shame and embarrassment of losing their way prevent a reunion with their loved ones. There are also people who don’t have access to the internet or a phone, or lack the digital literacy to reconnect with their loved ones.
Support from loved ones can be key to escaping homelessness. Connection and community are more important than ever. During the global health crisis, Mamma’s Hands has temporarily suspended the Phone Home weekly street outreach program. However, we are still connecting individuals with loved ones by providing travelers assistance to those in need. Each week, we’ve sent several homeless individuals back home to reunite with their loved ones.
Mamma’s Hands Founder, Denny Hancock recounts the important impact of reuniting families in a letter below.
I’ll never forget the feeling of joy I had upon receiving a thank you letter from a mother 2,000 miles away who had recently met her son at the Greyhound station after more than a year of wondering if he was alive or dead.
Her expression of gratitude to Mamma’s Hands for finding him and sending him home was overwhelming. A year or so later she visited Seattle and spent time with Leslie and me. It was so very wonderful to be able to get to know someone on the opposite end of the journey home.
Her joy was so freely expressed along with tears as well as a $400 cash donation to help Mamma’s Hands send more lost souls home. Her willingness to want to be close, if even for just a short while, with the people that helped save her son has been such a valuable memory for us. It has helped to lift us up when our own journey has become difficult.
It helps us to love the people we serve even more, knowing that there are family members out there wondering and hoping for the well being of their lost loved ones. It helps me to love and appreciate my own family as well as my friends and neighbors.
Denny Hancock, President and Founder of Mamma’s Hands