Looking for Brandon: Nonprofit group helping Homeless woman search for son she hasn't seen for 18 years

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News is committed to building a better Bay Area, improving this place we call home. Thousands of people who live here don't have a home to call their own and the number of homeless is growing.

Only Marin County has reported a decrease in homelessness. San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa have all reported big increases in the number of homeless.

The nonprofit Miracle Messages has successfully reunited more than 200 homeless with their families and on Monday they were out on Union Square on this mission.

Doris Rolandeli has been homeless for 20 plus years and she's searching for her son.

"This is your mother Doris. I use to go by Leah, so that's how they know me-- mama Leah. Brandon, I love you."

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The non-profit Miracle Messages has successfully reunited more than 200 homeless with their families and on Monday they were out on Union Square on this mission.

Rolandeli says the last time she saw her son he was 16-years-old, "All I kept seeing are your little eyes when you were a baby and they're still stuck in my head."

She believes her son is 34-years-old now and lives in San Mateo or Reno, Nevada.

Non-profit Miracles Message's mission is to reunite homeless with their loved ones.

"I had a guy who I connected with his son. He hadn't talked to his son since he was five and it had been 32 years since he had spoken to his kid," said Community Ambassador Brian Whitten.

For Whitten planning out his route to find the next Doris who wants to find her family is not just a job. This is personal, he, along with his co-worker Beverly Stevenson, were homeless themselves.

"It was me. I have been raped, mugged, robbed and people touch you and walk by and they see but act like they don't see," said Stevenson.

Union Square businesses partnered up with Miracles Messages last fall.

"Addressing homelessness in Union Square is a complex issue and one that requires many different approaches. Our Ambassadors direct individuals in need to services," said Karin Flood, spokesperson for Union Square.

In the last five years, Miracle Messages say they've have reunited more than 200 homeless with their loved ones. The biggest challenges according to them is that many of them feel shame and don't have a phone.

"We've had some people say this gives them something to live for, for other people it gives them a reason to take a step to go into recovery," Miracle Messages Executive Director, Jessica Donig.

The team behind the non-profit records and delivers messages to family members before reconnecting both parties.

"We do internet research and our volunteers put in work really as if it's a job. They search online, they go on White Pages, they go on Facebook they go on LinkedIn," said Doing.

To contact Miracle Messages you can call 1-800-MISS-YOU hotline, or email HELLO@MIRACLEMESSAGES.ORG.
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