Miracle Messages: help houseless San Franciscans Danita and Jesse find their families

Helia and her brother-in-law. | Photo: Miracle Messages

Miracle Messages shares videos via social media to help people experiencing houselessness or unstable housing reconnect with family and friends.

Founded by San Francisco resident Kevin Adler, the organization connects clients with caseworkers who record video interviews. Afterwards, nearly 1,000 digital investigators assist in the search process, scouring the Internet for clues as to the whereabouts of their friends and family members.

In this edition, meet Danita Williams and Jesse Green -- who are both looking to reconnect with family members -- as well as Helia, who recently reunited with her sisters after more than 20 years, thanks to a Miracle Message.

Danita Williams


Danita Williams is hoping to reconnect with her mom, whom she hasn't spoken to in three years. She told the Miracle Messages team that she loves her mother and wishes that she could reach out to her.

"I know we haven't had many good times together, but I love you and I wish that I could contact you," Williams said in her message. "We're still family and I hope you are doing well."

Williams currently resides in San Francisco, and originally hails from Oakland. Her mother is 65-year-old Beverly Andrews, who is reported to have last lived at 261 Alaska St., possibly in Fairfield.

Jesse Green

In addition to filming and distributing video messages from those seeking to reconnect with lost loved ones, Miracle Messages also maintains a toll-free telephone hotline.

Jesse Green called the 1-800-MISS-YOU hotline number, indicating he's trying to get in touch with his aunts, Jan and Betty Green. According to his recorded message, their last known location is Longmont, Colorado. It's not clear from his recording how long the family members have been disconnected.

Helia

Finally, a woman who recorded a Miracle Message was reunited with her sisters last week.

Earlier this year, the Miracle Messages team was conducting street outreach earlier this year when a woman named Helia approached them and asked if they were "the people that find people's families." She said that she needed help locating her sisters, with whom she'd last had contact more than two decades prior.


Miracle Messages digital detective Mark Askins gathered some details about Helia's family, and was soon able to get in touch with her sister Christina, who has been living in the Central Valley. Christina told Askins that she had come to San Francisco before to look for Helia, but was never able to locate her.

Helia lived with Christina for a time before moving to San Francisco, and would check in from time to time via telephone. But less than a year later, the phone calls ended.

"I felt that I had lost her for good," said Christina. "During these years, I would get on a computer and try to search for her. I never found her. I cried many tears fearing for her safety."

Helia's family offered to come to the city to see her, but she said that she was anxious and that she wasn't ready to meet. In response, Christina and Helia's other sister, Lisa, recorded their own Miracle Messages telling Helia that they loved her.

This past weekend, Helia decided that she was ready to see her sisters. Along with their husbands, Christina and Lisa met Helia at Pier 41 on the Embarcadero.


If you have any information that would help Danita or Jesse connect with their family, please email Miracle Messages. To become a hotline volunteer or launch a pilot in a new city, visit the group's website.
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