What we do
A person experiencing homelessness records a message to a loved one, often with the help of a volunteer. Then, our network of 1,100+ digital detectives attempt to deliver it.
“I never realized I was homeless when I lost my housing, only when I lost my family and friends.”
–Adam Reichart, San Francisco
We are in the midst of a national crisis: 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year. $40 billion has been spent in the past 10 years combating this problem. And yet, homelessness is skyrocketing (see some of the latest stats from our FAQ ).
Part of the problem is that we have been looking at this problem all wrong. When a person becomes homeless, they lose a lot more than just their physical housing. Based on our conversations with over 500 people over the past 3 years, for as many as 1 in 3 people, becoming homeless means losing your social support system and sense of belonging, too.
This loss of a “social home” is overlooked by nearly all service providers, but is a primary concern of people living on the streets. Without social supports, homeless people tend to stay homeless.
“The solution to homelessness isn’t just housing. It’s community.”
–Director Jim Greene, Boston Emergency Shelter Commission
To end homelessness, we must rebuild social homes as much as affordable housing. Miracle Messages reunites the homeless with their loved ones, and the rest of us as their neighbors.
We are launching a national, volunteer-led hotline for people experiencing homelessness to reunite with their loved ones, in addition to our mobile app for volunteers and referral form for partners. Our goal is to end relational poverty on our streets.
When a homeless client (or case worker) calls 1-800-MISS-YOU, they connect with a trained, on-call volunteer. After an informed consent process, the client is invited to share a few background details on their loved one: name, age, last known location. The volunteer then tries to locate the loved one and facilitate a reunion (the mobile app and referral form function similarly).
To date, we’ve reunited 131 loved ones. 20% of reunions have led to housing and more than 80% have led to a positive outcome, at a fraction of other interventions.
And we are just getting started. Join us.
“A lot of us get lost, and just hearing our family's voice can put us back on the right track.”
–LaMonte (person experiencing homelessness)
”The mental barrier of talking to the homeless is broken for me. That's huge.”
“It is tangible, if difficult, work.”
“When I tell people about your work, everyone gets it instantly. All of us who walk by people living on the street are hungry for a straightforward, compassionate, and effective way to help.”
– Mary (volunteer)