awesome - After 30 Years On The Streets, This Homeless Man Discovered His True Identity Thanks To A Police Off

There are countless homeless people who do the best they can to survive on city streets all around the world. While unfair, it’s easy to make assumptions about why these people wound up homeless—poor financial decisions, drug habits, or just all-around bad luck. However, sometimes even our most basic assumptions can turn out to be totally wrong.
One police officer often crossed paths with homeless folks while on duty, yet there was one man who caught his eye. The officer repeatedly warned the man about asking passersby for change. When the officer finally decided to write him up, he had no idea that it would change both of their lives forever…
Sixty-seven-year-old Mick Meyers hadn’t had an easy life. Adopted as an infant in San Leandro, California, he was never fully accepted by the family that took him in. When his adoptive parents passed away, his siblings turned their backs on him, leaving Mick to fend for himself.
Mick struggled to make ends meet on his own. Eventually, he found work as a truck driver and was able to make a little bit of money. Still, he couldn’t shake the feelings of isolation and heartache that he found in his solitary existence.
Although Mick worked hard, he eventually lost his job driving. Unable to find employment elsewhere, Mick soon found himself living on the streets and panhandling and playing music in order to survive. This went on for 30 years.
Deputy Sheriff Jacob Swalwell knew Mick well. For years he would approach Mick on the street and tell him that he couldn’t ask for change from passersby. Eventually, he got tired of giving Mick warnings and decided to take action…
Deputy Sheriff Swalwell decided to formally write up a citation for Mick. In order to do this, however, he needed a form of ID from Mick to process the citation. Mick answered him honestly: he didn’t have any form of identification.
“I had given him so many warnings,” remembered Deputy Sheriff Swalwell, “and I asked him for his ID and he said he didn’t have an ID. And I immediately asked, ‘Why don’t you have an ID?'”
Deputy Sheriff Swalwell added, “I learned more, that he was disabled and had been homeless for 30 years. He was not an alcoholic, he did not use drugs… He was just a senior citizen on his own.” This flew in the face of assumptions the officer made about Mick…
Mick went on to explain that he was on the streets because he didn’t have access to social security. In order to access those funds, he would need an ID—something that was almost impossible for him to acquire.
 “Well, you’ve got somebody to help you now,” Deputy Sheriff Swalwell said. He told Mick that he would help him get proper identification. This, he hoped, would be the first step in getting Mick off the street.
The road to getting that ID wouldn’t be easy. In fact, even with the officer by his side, it proved to be a tremendous struggle. That was because the DMV had long since erased any record of Mick from their system, and in order to get him back in, it needed documents that Mick obviously didn’t have.
The DMV told Mick that he would need to show his birth certificate and two forms of identification that confirmed his residency in the state of California. Even Deputy Sheriff Swalwell was stymied. How does a homeless person come up with multiple forms of identification?
So Deputy Sheriff Swalwell enlisted the help of his own pastor to get Mick the residency forms he needed. He also personally tried to track down Mick’s birth certificate; when he finally unearthed it, Mick didn’t just get an ID—he found his birth name: Gordon Michael Oakley!
But that wasn’t the end of Mick’s story. In fact, things would only get even more unbelievable. After a local news channel featured Mick’s story, an investigator named Mark Askins perked up his ears…
Mark worked for a company called Miracle Messages, which reunites the homeless with any living relatives they may have, but not know about. Mark quickly went to work, and before long, he made an amazing discovery…
Mark discovered that Mick’s birth mother’s name was Marie Pauline Oakley. Marie married while she was still a teenager, and she moved to Tennessee with her husband. When things didn’t work out, she moved back home to California. At that time, she was pregnant—and already the mother to a toddler.
Mark managed to track down Marie and found out that she went by the name of Polly. She was overjoyed to receive word about the son she gave up. “I’ve often wondered what might have happened to him,” she said. “But at the same time, I just assumed he had a good family, because that’s what I had been told.”
Polly revealed that, as a baby, Mick needed expensive surgery that she could not afford. At the suggestion of her mother, she gave him up; she assumed that Mick would get the care he needed and be placed with a family who could provide him with opportunities that she simply could not.
Two weeks after Mark found her, Polly met Mick for the very first time since he was a baby. Mick didn’t even make it through the door before Polly swept him up in her arms, eager to reconnect with the child she hadn’t seen in decades.
While Polly felt horrible to learn about the difficulties Mick faced growing up, she was beyond relieved to be reunited with him. Mick was also ecstatic. He went from being despised and shunned by his adoptive family to loved by his birth family!
Polly opened up her home to Mick, giving him both a place to live and time to get to know each other. Every day, they were thankful for the hard work of Deputy Sheriff Swalwell, who brought them back together—and saved Mick’s life in the process!
There are so many stories like this one that don’t have a happy ending. It’s just exceptional that this police officer was able to make such a tremendous difference in Mick’s life. Doubtlessly, he’ll be forever grateful to Deputy Sheriff Swalwell.
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