A real hero: police officer reunites homeless man with his family that’s living 350 miles away

At a time when homelessness in the US is at an all-time high and more cities and states are making it illegal to sleep in public areas, a police officer in South Carolina lent a helping hand to a homeless man rather than putting handcuffs on his wrists.

Lieutenant Tim Conroy of the Greenville Police Department helped a homeless man find a place to call home by connecting him with his relatives in another state.

Rehabilitating the homeless population is one of his team’s tasks.

According to the department, Conroy met Mr. Bryant, a guy who had been homeless for two years, when he was walking the streets.

Conroy discovered Mr. Bryant’s family in Virginia after becoming determined to assist them and being unconstrained by state boundaries.

The man and his family, according to the police, were “overjoyed” to be reunited.

The department writes on its Facebook site, “Lieutenant Conroy located Mr. Bryant’s family in Virginia, and they were overjoyed to hear that he had been found. They came to pick him up and take him back home. It’s heartwarming to see the positive impact of such efforts.”

A recent report released by the National Homelessness Law Center shows that “amost every state, 48 in total, has at least one law restricting behaviors that prohibit or restrict conduct of people experiencing homelessness.”

Those “behaviors” in South Carolina include camping, sleeping, panhandling, loitering, or loafing in specified locations.

A misdemeanor will be filed against you on January 1, 2023, if you are discovered sleeping in a public area anyplace in Missouri.City officials in Columbia, the state capital, less than two hours distant, are “making aggressive strides toward addressing homelessness.”

When it was revealed that the city of Columbia was sending homeless people to a shelter 15 miles away, the news made headlines in 2013. Some local governments, including Greenville and others, are adopting a different strategy from the strict sanctions used by other jurisdictions.

A New Jersey police officer assisted a homeless guy who had been separated from his family for 24 years in 2019. According to CBS, Jose Lopez went from the Garden State to Florida after his divorce and lost touch with his two daughters, who were then 17 and 10.

Many years later, Lopez tried to call his daughters but was unable to do so due to his numerous strokes and homelessness. But it didn’t dim his spirit or his will to track down his girls once more.

Lopez used his Social Security benefits to fund his trip to New Jersey, where he arrived at the Secaucus Junction rail station. There, he encountered a transit police officer who, upon observing his plight, offered to help.

Sean Pfeifer, a Crisis Outreach Officer with whom Lopez had a connection, assisted the man in finishing his trek.

“Mr. Lopez was intent on finding his family, and I wanted to make sure that I was there to help him with doing that,” Pfeifer said in an interview with CBS.

Lopez also got to see his grown daughters and his grandchildren during the emotional reunion.

“I’m thinking I’m in heaven. I’ve got my two best girls. I got a good friend,” Lopez told CBS.

Near the beginning of Covid, the Hillsboro Police Department and a number of community partners were able to reunite Scooter, a homeless guy, with his family in Arkansas.

“Even though the pandemic made some aspects of this challenging, we’re thrilled to report Scooter is now happily reunited with his brother and living with him safely in Arizona,” Hillsboro Police writes on its Facebook page.

    We’d like to thank these police officers, and departments, that are wonderful examples of humans making communities better!

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