A woman’s Facebook post went viral this weekend after she introduced the internet to her homeless friend who she said has special needs, got on the wrong Greyhound bus, and found himself lost several years ago. Trisha Hipps El-Sharkawy said on Facebook that she asked her homeless friend, Sean, if she could post his photo on Facebook. She said he was excited.
“This is my homeless friend, Sean. My children and I have known him for several years and taken him food, clothes, and blankets. Sean is Special Needs. He can’t read or write and sounds like an 8-year-old child when he talks. He recently told me that he is here because he got lost and can’t find his way home. He was on a Greyhound Bus to visit someone and got on the wrong bus at a rest stop. He’s been lost ever since. He thinks he’s from Springfield, Missouri. Someone has to be looking for him. He’s such a harmless, gentle soul. Please pray for him.”
The special needs man is mentally challenged according to Trisha, who found Sean in Arizona. Quickly, people began scouring missing posters, attempting to find the homeless man’s family. At first, some believed he was Sean “Nickie” White, according to the Springfield News-Leader, but Nickie’s missing poster should have been taken down years ago. He was found a short time after he went missing, according to Nickie’s brother Robbie White.
“I just got off the phone with him,” White told a reporter. “No, I wasn’t worried. I knew where he was.”
— Bob Heist (@bobheist_BBnews) February 21, 2015
Concerned Facebook users continued to search.
El-Sharkawy, who lives in Phoenix, said she was overwhelmed at the response her post has garnered. She said that the community has been looking out for him for years.
“There are so many people who care about him. People are always giving him food. He never asks for money. One time — only one time — he asked for $2 because he wanted to get a jacket from Goodwill. He was outside Goodwill when he asked. For two years, every time he saw me, he thanked me for the jacket.”
The special needs man is unable to recall his last name. The only thing he recalls about his past is that he thought he was from Springfield, and that he got on the wrong bus accidentally when he was at a rest station. The post searching for the special needs homeless man’s family has been shared over 160,000 times as of Saturday afternoon, as thousands hope that he will finally return home after that fateful bus trip several years ago.
[Photo via Facebook]