When we see people panhandling on the side of the road, it’s difficult to imagine what caused them to stand where they are. Are they a product of unfortunate circumstances? Or are they responsible for the position they’re in currently?
While every situation is different, it’s clear that every homeless person could use a helping hand.
Thankfully, that’s exactly what the community in Indianapolis did when they saw a man starving on the street…
Johnny Servantez was the first person to share an image of the homeless man, who was later identified as Johnny Rhodes, on Facebook. Servantez explained that the man wasn’t just homeless, but he was literally starving on the side of a busy road while thousands of people passed by without a care.
“I had to give this poor guy some money. I NEVER give panhandlers money… But this guy’s stomach was hitting his back and [his] ribs popping out.
If you are at Thompson and Madison [in Indianapolis] throw him a buck or two, at least.
The man isn’t that [expletive] skinny by choice. I’ve seen skinny drug addicts. And this man is suffering from starvation.”
Within minutes, Servantez’s photo was shared all around the state and it reached the last person he ever expected: Johnny Rhodes’ brother, Danny.
Danny hadn’t seen his brother in seven years following the passing of their mother. He had searched for Johnny but he simply vanished without a trace. Danny told reporters that his brother had a history of substance abuse, which made tracking him down frustratingly difficult.
Even with the help of the image, locating Johnny was impossible. That’s when a total stranger named Amy Ranae Smith got involved.
Amy started a Facebook page called “Team Johnny Rhodes” and asked members to send updates with Johnny’s location if they spotted him around town. Sure enough, hundreds of people started sharing images of Johnny’s most recent location – all of which help Danny find his brother.
The two men were finally brought together after weeks of searching and, while Johnny couldn’t be convinced to get professional help, he did get a nice, warm meal and a safe place to rest his head.
Amy shared how the meeting between Johnny and Danny went:
“He had two meals, a [hot] shower, a pair of clean clothes, a room to himself with quiet, a king size bed, TV with cable, fridge, a microwave, Pepsi and leftovers. He is safe and resting.”
Despite Johnny’s reluctance to get help, Danny is determined to keep reaching out to his brother. Family is family and Danny knows he can’t simply give up!
Even though Johnny was able to reunite with his loved ones, he still opts to spend a good portion of his time on the street. Thankfully, the community is aware of his situation and sends updates to the page regularly! Hopefully their kindness will help convince Johnny to turn his life around!