When you drive through your town and urban centers, do you see an influx of homeless people? In 2016 about 83,000 people are considered chronically homeless and they only make up about 15 percent of the entire population of homeless people in the United States. To make matters even worse, one in four homeless people is considered a child. Homelessness affects more people than you could ever imagine. With more homeless people on the streets, there is more desperation. People are seen begging for change on street corners around the country. While a lot of people choose to ignore these homeless people, some open their hearts up to them and listen to their stories. And this human kindness helps for a time. Others donate money to charities that help the poor. Others volunteer. But some are cruel to the homeless and have no sympathy for their plight. But Johnny Servantez hopes to teach everyone why every person deserves a home and a safe place to sleep at night.
Servantez always looked away when he saw a “disgusting” homeless person. At least he did until he met Johnny Rhodes. Rhodes was outside a flea market in Indianapolis, IN. And he was desperate for any help he could get.
And Rhodes looked in much worse shape than any other homeless person in the area. Servantez couldn’t help but feel pity for the man. He thought he looked like he was on the verge of starvation.
He was so moved by Rhodes’s horrible condition, he broke his own rule and gave the man some money. And he then snapped a picture of Rhodes and shared it to his Facebook page.
In the post, Servantez urged every kind hearted person in Indianapolis to donate food or money to Rhodes. And as the message began to spread across the internet, something beautiful happened.
The image got in front of the last person anyone would have imagined – Johnny Rhodes’s brother.
“I’m so sick to my stomach right now,” Danny Rhodes told RTV6. “I can’t function to know someone is living this way and looks this bad.”
For the last seven years, Johnny Rhodes had been out of the picture. After their mother died, the brothers lost touch.
Danny knew he had to help. He went searching for his long-lost brother and then did everything he could for him.
But when they got out to Rhodes’s usual spot, he was missing. Where had he gone?
Because he was gone, Danny turned to Amy Renae, a family friend. She created a Facebook page so members of the community could help track Johnny Rhodes’s whereabouts. She wanted Danny and Johnny to be reunited after seven years separated.
“He had two meals, a shower, a pair of clean clothes, a room to himself with quiet, a king-sized bed, tv, fridge, a microwave, Pepsi & leftovers,” Amy Renae, a friend of the family wrote on Facebook. “He is safe and resting.”
When we see homeless people on the streets, we often put a wall up between us. We forget to remember that they’re human and have their own stories. If we listen to them, and offer what help we can, we can make a difference one life at a time, like they did for Johnny Rhodes.