Homeless man posts ‘want ad’ in hopes of finding a family for Thanksgiving

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NORFOLKS, Virgina --  A former taxi driver, now homeless, has one wish and that is to not be alone on Thanksgiving.

That’s why Neal Shytles posted a want ad on Facebook asking for a family willing to set a place at their table for him.

advert homeless

“I am lonely like 365 days a year but Christmas and Thanksgiving are two of the worst days, and I really miss having some kind of family atmosphere around me,” Neal told WTKR-TV.

Neal says he worked at a taxi driver for 15 years before losing his job and being forced out of his home thanks to mounting debt.

Now Neal pays what he can from his social security check to the Union Mission Ministries Men’s Shelter in Nortfolk Virgina.  He says he’s been at the shelter for a year and a half.

“You know I’m grateful for even being here,” he says.

But still he says despite being surrounded by others at the shelter he feels alone without a family, especially on Thanksgiving.

“It would mean the world to me if somebody took me in,” he says. “Just for that one day, for a couple hours.”

“It would mean so much, because you know like I said, I’m lonely and it`s just forming that relationship with somebody would be so important to me. It would mean so much and I would really cherish it.”

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46 comments

      • the best guy ever

        “down and out” isn’t an insult, it’s a fact. they’re ‘down’ on they’re luck and they’re ‘out’ on the streets.

    • Regina

      He’s not just looking for a Thanksgiving Meal. He wants to feel ‘part of a family’. He wants a friend. The church idea is great if he were hungry, but I don’t think he’s just hungry. He wants to be a part of something. To share a special bond.

    • Dave

      Although church is a good idea suggestions to go look for a family to share the thanksgiving holidays are a bit unsensative not for the purpose of finding a family to connect with who knows what this man’s life was about he could have faith and still feel lost family is a wonderful thing to have although some may disagree I might not see eye to eye with mine all the time but I wish I had the chance to tell and show all of my family how much I love them this and every year

  • chris

    I hope someone does do this for him, he’s not asking for room & board, just to feel like part of a family, if he lived closer I would definitely do it for him, we all get sad around the holidays & that in itself would make my holiday if I could do something that nice for someone

  • Laura Kratovil

    If I had a family to spend Thanksgiving with, and lived in Virginia, I would invite him in an instant!!! But I’ll be eating Chinese food, just myself and my two kids lol. He would be so welcome to join! ): Someone in Virginia, PLEASE invite him for Thanksgiving!!!

  • SA_Hunter

    Kenneth Briggs, you are a heartless ass! ALL the man is asking for is PART of one day to feel like he is with a family. That’s not asking for too much. It’s heartless asses like you that make me disgusted with society in general nowadays. If people were more caring nowadays, Some of our problems would not be so prolific. I wished I leved near the man, My family would love to have him with us.

  • Diana

    Awwww poor fella! I would totally invite him for dinner if I lived anywhere close at all. Being in Washington state for me makes it impossible but I hope someone finds love in their heart to give him a good dinner and conversation!! Good luck!!

  • lizrot

    I see lots of responses to this that say, “I would if I only lived closer.” Every town has homeless people just like this man. Step up and make someone’s day.

    • Dave

      You know that’s a great idea I live neer new orleans and do you know that it is illegal to go out and feed the homeless….. Somthing is definitely wrong with this

    • tired worker

      You are so right, I have opened up my home to a man who was homeless. He now has a home for his dog and himself and a good job. We are still friends. Giving of yourself does not take alot but very important to those that you give your time to. I hope he finds new friends this Thanksgiving.

  • Ty

    I’ll love to cook for him my family is so big we’ll be ecstatic to have a new addition that’s not a baby, he’ll have a family for life. Really wish I can do this for this man that’ll be his blessing and my families. Hope he finds a good family

  • Tina

    There are some great people that live in Virginia, I am sure he will find a family that will welcome him in. Wish I still lived there.

  • SASHA

    IF YU CAN MAKE IT HERE TO CHICAGO YU ARE WELCOMED TO OUR TABLE FILLED WITH GOOD FOOD AND YU CAN TAKE A PLATE WITH YU…WE ARE ALL FAMILY REGARDS TO COLOR OR LIVING SITUATION. COME GET A PLATE SIR!!!!

  • Jessica

    I hope someone takes him in, no one deserves to be alone on a Holiday and Homeless. Where has the love in the world went? Sir I’m in NC and I’m praying for you, please stay strong because God will never leave you no matter how hard the circumstances are.

  • Veronika

    I live in DC and I’m seriously considering driving down to pick him up for thanksgiving dinner. This breaks my heart! My family would welcome him

  • Regina

    If I lived close, I would absolutely be happy to spend the holiday with him… and who knows, maybe even make a new lifelong friend from it. My heart goes out to him. I don’t think he’s just looking for a ‘Thanksgiving dinner’. He’s looking to belong and to be loved. He’s looking for a friend and a caring heart. Being ‘homeless’ isn’t a reflection of character, but rather a result of hard times. <3

  • frank terry

    My god I read all the comments some.care most of U could care less I no I been there falling down and nobody put there hand 2 help me 2/my feet just walk around me. Coming home from Vietnam the same thing UDONT çare

  • Dave

    I wish you lived closer my door would be open to you not beacause you are less fortunate just because you feel alone in a world that has become more and more populated some of us have lost touch with fact that we all need some kind of emotional support from time to time may you be blessed by whatever god you serve and find life and happiness in your lives…

  • noria joseph

    I’m very sorry to hear that happen I stay in another city but if I was close Where u live at u would be welcome. to join my family for Thanksgiving. Christmas. and anytime I hope things get better for u

  • Rose

    I really do mean to sound cruel but my question is why is he still in the same situation he was in over a year ago? There has to be programs he could become a part of that could have taken him permanently off the streets and provided a family like environment for him during the holidays.

    • Amy

      Rose, this man is not on the streets. He, according to the above article, is paying part of his Social Security check to live in a church shelter where he has been for a year and a half. So I’m going to guess that his Social Security check is not very much money and, unfortunately, to be able to be out in your own home or apartment takes a fair amount of money. Without a job, it would be pretty hard to do that. There might perhaps be some subsidized housing, but there’s likely a lot of demand for that housing. Aside from that, having your own housing does not bring you a family to be a part of. I know of people here that have been out of work for 6 months, a year or longer.

  • megan

    I completely understand your situation, although many may not. The holidays can be very difficult without friends and family. May God bless you with good people and good food on thanksgiving.

  • Pamela

    If my son and I were doing anything he would be welcome at our table for any holiday. Hope he finds a family for the holiday season. Bless this man now and forever.

  • Gissel Valdivieso

    He is welcome in my home. However I am in Houston. Two years back I took a family of four, for Christmas and New Years Eve.

  • Gissel Valdivieso

    He is welcome in my home. However I am in Houston. If he is willing to jump on the greyhound I would send him a ticket. Two years back I took a family of four, for Christmas and New Years Eve.

  • suhaily

    If he was close to me i would let him in its sometimes better to have some u dont know be part of your family and share that moment its not always about food is wanting to talk to someone. I live in philly but i hope and pray u find a good person that would let u pass the holidays with them godbless u!