October 17, 2021

Lonely Homeless Man Finds a Family after Posting Heartfelt Request to Spend a Day with One

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Neal Shytles lives with a hundred different people at a homeless shelter, but still, he feels alone. Hoping to feel part of a family, he posted an ad requesting to spend Thanksgiving with anyone who wants to accept him for the day.

Being alone with nowhere to go and no one to run to is a pain only understood by those who have experienced it. Neal Shytles is one of them.

Shytles grew up in Hampton Roads and became a hardworking taxi driver for 15 years, but things went downhill when he lost his job.

Neal Shytles finds a family to spend Thanksgiving with. | Source:


With no family nearby to run to, he was faced with bill after bill. Soon, his savings ran out, and everything was lost. He rented a room at Union Mission ministries men’s shelter, paid with his Social Security money.

Shytles never thought he would end up in such a place, but he had no choice. Despite his circumstances, he was grateful for everything given to him. Still, he couldn’t take away the sadness of being alone. He shared:

“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.”

Dining table set-up for Thanksgiving dinner. | Source: Pixabay


Hoping to find someone to spend Thanksgiving with, Shytles reached out to a news channel and posted an ad on their Facebook page that read:

“Large 50 y.o. Christian, homeless male is looking for a person, family, or couple to share Thanksgiving day with [...]. I was very alone last Thanksgiving and would not like to go through that this Thanksgiving.”

While apologizing, Shytles said that he did not have transportation as well and needed to be provided. “I [would] not only be thankful but would also consider myself blessed to spent this time with you,” he added.


It turned out that the post touched the hearts of many people who reached out to Shytles one after the other, inviting him to their home for Thanksgiving

Even before meeting the couple, Shytles already loved them and felt like they were family.

The first couple who reached out to him was Cory and Ashley McLemore from Newport News. It was an emotional first conversation as Shytles began crying on the phone.


According to Ashley, she and her husband were in the military and know the feeling of being lonely and away from family all too well. “I was crying when she called me, and I had to excuse myself because I was emotional,” Shytles said.

Even before meeting the couple, Shytles already loved them and felt like they were family. It turned out that he spent both lunch and dinner with the couple, which he called a double blessing.

Shytle’s story brings a new perspective to homeless people. Despite their circumstances, they are still human and need companions, love, and interaction.


Cory and Ashley are not the only couple who have gone the extra mile to change a homeless person’s life. Previously, Arkansas husband and wife Jodi and Dawn became a beacon of hope for James, a homeless man who wandered the streets.

By sparking a simple conversation with James, the couple was able to reunite him with his relatives 600 miles away, who had been searching for him. Indeed, James will never forget Jodi and Dawn for turning his life around.