NORFOLK, Va. (PIX11) — A homeless Virginia man has just one request for Thanksgiving this year: a family.
Neal Shytles never thought he would end up in this position.
The Hampton Roads, Virginia native drove a taxi for 15 years but suddenly lost his job.
“Everything that I’d saved up, I started dishing out to people that were taking me in and everything was gone,” Neal told PIX11 affiliate WTKR.
Neal ended up homeless, and now rents a room at the Union Mission Ministries shelter using money from Social Security.
“When I was dropped off at the front door here, I was one of these people that never thought I would be here.”
Neal says that he is lonely everyday of the year, but it is especially bad during the holidays.
“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 decided to post an ad on WTKR’s Facebook page, asking for a generous family to take him in for Thanksgiving this year:
“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 alone last Thanksging and really would not like to go through that this Thanksgiving. I currently have no transportation, so unforginately [sic] this will need to be provided (sorry). PLEASE, if you have room in you [sic] home and in your hear to share your Thanksgiving, I [will] not only be thankful, but would also consider myself blessed to spend this time with you.”
Neal, who has no family in the area, says it would mean so much to him to have a family to spend time with for the holiday.
“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.”
Since Neal posted the ad, WTKR has been flooded with offers and Neal will now have a family to call his own on Thanksgiving this year.