Neal Shytles reached out to local news station WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Virginia, for help posting an ad on Facebook. However, he wasn’t selling or trying to purchase anything.
For Thanksgiving, he’s seeking the one thing money can’t buy — a family.
Shytles, who describes himself as a Christian, homeless man, said he would love more than anything to spend Thanksgiving in a “family atmosphere.”
“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,” Neal told WTKR. “It would mean the world to me if somebody took me in. Just for that one day, for a couple hours.”
The Facebook ad reads:
A family to share thanksgiving with
Large 54 y.o. Christian, homeless male is looking for a person, family or couple to share Thanksgiving day with. I consider myself as someone who is easy to get along with. I am very grateful to God for everything he has blessed me with. I love to sing praises to God. I was very very alone last Thanksgiving and would not like to go through that this Thanksgiving. I currently have no transportation, so unfortunately this will need to be provided (sorry).
PLEASE, if you have room in [your] home and in your heart to share your Thanksgiving, I not only be thankful, but would also consider myself blessed to spend this time with you.
Neal never thought he would end up homeless. But after losing his job as a taxi driver after 15 years, his bills overwhelmed him and left him in a dire situation.
He’s reportedly staying at a Norfolk shelter for over a year, using his Social Security money to pay for a room. Still, he says, “I’m grateful for even being here.”
He apparently has no family members left nearby, which can make for some lonely days and nights.
“It hurts me to be alone, no family or nobody around,” Neal said.