TriBeCa family helps homeless man return home to India

TRIBECA, Manhattan -- How many times have you passed by a homeless person on the street and wondered what you could do to help?

There’s one TriBeCa family who really changed the life of one homeless person.

For close to two years, 54-year-old Stanley had been homeless, living on the street, most recently in a cardboard box on the steps of a vacant storefront near Broadway and Leonard Street, around the corner from where Michael Sloan and his wife, Kate, were raising their two children.

“It was the end of August 2017. Kate first saw him and told me to speak to him,” Michael Sloan told PIX11. “Kate first saw him and told me to go talk to him. She was five months pregnant and he just seemed out of place.”

During the next 14 months, Michael and his wife came to treat Stanley like family, bringing him into their home, celebrating his birthday and New Year’s Eve with him.

The Sloans learned that Stanley had come to New York under a work visa in 1998 as a pharmacist’s assistant, but then he lost his job, his apartment and his passport and all he really wanted to do was get back home to India.

That’s when Michael, the co-founder of Cloe’s Soft Serve Fruit, set up a GoFundMe page and cut through the red tape:

“We had been working really hard with the Indian consulate,” Sloan told PIX11. “They’ve been wonderful getting his emergency travel papers and he’s going home,” he added.

And now a cause to celebrate with Stanley’s extended New York City family.

The passport came through and Stanley will be reunited with his four brothers and 17 nephews and nieces in India after a 20-year absence.

Stanley, a man of few words, was so grateful.

“If I don’t see him, maybe I would die,” Stanley told PIX11.

“The message is talk to people, say hi,” Sloan told PIX11. “You never know what could happen.”

Stanley flies to India tomorrow but the GoFundMe page is still set up, to smooth his transition back to India. It’s Stanley TriBeCa, if you’d like to donate.