Miracle Messages: help houseless San Franciscans Herbert and Oscar reconnect with their families

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 Herbert, who hopes to reconnect with his brother, and Oscar, who is searching for his sister.

Herbert Smith

The Miracle Messages team met San Francisco resident Herbert Smith earlier this month. He's looking for his brother James Carl Smith, whom he hasn't seen in nearly 37 years.

James is approximately 72 years old; his last known whereabouts are Rochester, New York. Herbert also provided a bit more information about some of his other relatives, including a nephew named Carl Smith; his mother, Jonnie Bell Smith; his grandmother, Stella Cheetum; and another brother, Billy Henry Smith, a military veteran who has passed away.

"I just want you to write me and let me know how you're doing," Smith said in his video recording. "I hope you and your family are doing alright."

Oscar McKinney

Oscar Wesley McKinney (pictured at top) is hoping to reconnect with his sister Debbie "Didi" Millins. Her last known location is in Missouri; she's approximately 60 years old, he said. Debbie's husband is Jim Mullins, who reportedly has a stud farm somewhere in Iowa.

McKinney told the Miracle Messages team that he's spent years on and off the streets since 1976, and has lost contact with most of his family. He said he has seven other siblings including Debbie: Eugene, Shelby, Steven, Darrell, Opie and Jimmy. Their father's name is Floyd McKinney, he said.

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