A homeless man in Norfolk, Virginia, who says he is grateful for every meal he receives through shelter services, doesn’t crave material possessions. As the holidays approach he only wants one thing—and it’s something money can’t buy. The only thing he wants is a family for Thanksgiving.
“It hurts me to be alone, no family or nobody around,” he said. “It would mean so much, because you know like I said, I’m lonely and it’s just forming that relationship with somebody would be so important to me. It would mean so much and I would really cherish it.”
Neal Shytles drove a taxi for 15 years to earn his living. After he lost his job and became overwhelmed with bills, he relied on the kindness of others to take him in. Finally, after he lost everything he had, he was left at a shelter—where he rents a room using only what he collects from Social Security.
While he is thankful to have shelter and food, Shytles no longer has family nearby. He said the hardest thing is the loneliness during Christmas and Thanksgiving time.
He reached out to WTKR and asked for a Facebook post asking for a Thanksgiving adoption. Fighting tears, Shytles explained that even if it was just for a couple of hours, it would mean the world to him to feel included in a family.
He said that although he feels the loneliness every single day, the holidays are “the worst days and I really miss having some kind of family atmosphere around me.”