Seeing people panhandling at the side of the road can leave us wondering about their stories. Are they victims of unfortunate circumstances, or do their choices put them there? While each situation is unique, it’s clear that every homeless person could use some help.
In Indianapolis, a man named Johnny Servantez shared a photo of a homeless man named Johnny Rhodes on Facebook. He explained that Rhodes wasn’t just homeless; he was starving on a busy roadside, ignored by passersby. Servantez felt compelled to help, despite usually avoiding giving money to panhandlers. He wrote about Rhodes’ dire condition and urged others to help him.
His post quickly spread, reaching an unexpected person – Johnny Rhodes’ brother, Danny, who had lost contact with him for seven years after their mother passed away. Rhodes had a history of substance abuse, which made him hard to find.
Danny struggled to locate his brother even with the posted image. This is when Amy Ranae Smith, a stranger, stepped in. She created a Facebook page called “Team Johnny Rhodes” and asked members to share updates on Johnny’s whereabouts.
Hundreds of people began sharing images of Johnny’s locations, which ultimately led Danny to his brother. They were finally reunited after weeks of searching. Johnny received a warm meal and a safe place to rest his head, even though he was reluctant to seek professional help.
Despite his reluctance, Danny is determined to continue reaching out to his brother because family is family, and he won’t give up.
While Johnny still spends time on the street, the community keeps track of his situation and regularly sends updates to the Facebook page. Their kindness may eventually convince Johnny to turn his life around.