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Mick Myers was living on the streets of California for the last thirty years. He was worn out from panhandling and worrying about where his next meal would come from. Luckily, an Alameda County police officer decided to help Mick after giving him a citation.

The Beginning

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Mick Myers was adopted by a family in San Leandro, California. Growing up, he participated in the high school marching band and had many friends around him. Unfortunately, he never felt like he belonged in his adoptive family, no matter how much they tried to make him feel included.

Keeping to Himself

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Myers had a difficult time connecting with his adoptive family. He pretty much kept to himself and isolated himself from his siblings and parents. This behavior stayed with him throughout high school and after he graduated. He lost touch with friends and described his life as “living a life as alone as a person could possibly be.”

The Truth Comes Out

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It wasn’t until he was 16 years old that it was revealed that Mick was adopted. This explained why he never felt a connection with his family. When this was announced, his adoptive siblings turned their backs to him, not wanting anything to do with him.

Leaving Home

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Having nowhere to go, Mick decided to get a job as a truck driver. He enjoyed being alone and driving around the country. Unfortunately, after a while, the loneliness was too much to handle. He was laid off and left with nothing. Mick would often go from job to job after his brief trucking career. On his off time he enjoyed playing top paying online casino nz, but without income it was hard to keep with with his hobbies.


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Mick decided to start begging on the street to get some money to help him get by. Sometimes he would play guitar hoping for tips on the street. “Most of the people just hurry by and don’t even give me a glance,” he explained. The money he earned was never enough to help him get off the street. It was just enough to buy him some hot meals.

Deputy Sheriff Jacob Swalwell

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Deputy Sheriff Jacob Swalwell was familiar with Mick. He had seen him panhandling many times on the streets. Swalwell would often warn Mick to stop begging and bothering people. Mick wouldn’t stop begging, though. It was his only source of income.

Last Warning

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Swalwell stopped his patrol car to give Mick one last warning about begging. He asked for Mick’s ID to give him a citation. Mick didn’t have an ID though. “I had given him so many warnings, 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?’” It was this moment that the deputy knew he had to help this homeless man.

Learning About Each Other

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Mick explained to the officer how his life had gone. He explained that many people think homeless people are on the streets because of drug addiction or alcoholism. That isn’t the case though. “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 did not use tobacco. He was just a senior citizen on his own,” the deputy said.

Nowhere to Call Home

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The only reason Mick was on the street was because he didn’t have a home to go to. This and his lack of ID prevented him from collecting his social security. “Well you’ve got someone to help you now,” Swalwell promised.

Complicated Process

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The officer took Mick to a DMV to get him an ID. Unfortunately, this was going to be a much harder process than they though. The DMV had erased Mick’s records from when he had a driver’s license years ago. Mick also didn’t have any of the necessary paperwork to show them.

Proving a Place of Residency

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The documents needed would be a proof of residency, birth certificate, and two official documents that proved he is a California resident. How could he get these documents if he didn’t have a home or even know where his birth certificate was located?

Overcoming the Hurdle

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Deputy Swalwell wasn’t ready to give up on Mick. He called his pastor asking for help to get these documents in order. Swalwell also hunted down Mick’s birth certificate. The document even had Mick’s birth name on it.

Media Attention

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With the help of the deputy and pastor, Mick was able to get his ID. A local news station caught wind of the story and featured Swalwell’s kindness in a news segment. “We both realized at the same time that there is a real person there and not just the stereotype we saw when we first met each other,” Swalwell explained.

Private Investigator

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Private investigator, Mark Askins, saw the news story and decided to offer his help in finding Mick’s family. Mick liked the idea and allowed the investigator to rifle through his life.

A Detective’s Work

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Askins searched through numerous records using Mick’s birth name, Gordon Michael Oakley. While going through ledgers, he noticed two names, “Wiley Albert Oakley” and “Marie Pauline Oakley.”

Marie Pauline Oakley

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Marie Pauline Oakley met her husband, Wiley Oakley, at the young age of 16. They had moved to Tennessee shortly after they got married. “The cabin was ramshackle. The cracks in the wall were so wide that snakes and other animals would come in,” she said of their first home. The couple had trouble taking care of their newborn son.

No Money for the Family

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Wiley sent most of his money home to his mother, leaving his wife and son with little to spend. “There was a bed for me to sleep in, but there was no crib for the baby. I had to put two chairs together and put a food locker on it,” she said. She had just enough money to buy formula for her baby. Marie would steal food from gardens nearby. She decided to move to California with her baby.


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When Marie’s mother picked her up from the train station, Marie was pregnant with her second child now. She had grown thin and unrecognizable to her mother. “My life was not what I expected out of a marriage,” Marie reflects. She named her second baby, Gordon Michael Oakley.

Forced to Make a Choice

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Marie’s child was diagnosed with a hole in his stomach and she couldn’t afford the surgery to help him. So, she put him up for adoption. “My back was against the wall. I had to do what was best for him,” Marie said. This child was Mick Myers. He received the surgery and never saw his mother again.

Finding Marie

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Mick was now well into his 60’s. Askin decided to look for his mother, Marie, in hopes that she was still alive. Surprisingly, he tracked her down and was able to get in contact with her.

65 Years Later

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Mick decided he wanted meet his mother, who now went by Polly. She was ecstatic that her son had found her. Two weeks after their first phone call, Myers flew out to meet his mother.

More Than Expected

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Myers didn’t expect to be greeted by a full-fledged family. His niece, Shannon, picked him up from the airport to bring him to Polly. Myers was shocked.


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The moment Mick opened the door to Polly’s house, she jumped up and they embraced in a long much-needed hug. In Mick’s bag, he had his high school yearbook and a new guitar gifted to him by Swalwell. Polly was shocked at Mick’s life story. “Who’d have thought that something like this could have happened to anybody – let alone me!” Mick said.

Eye Opening

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It was out of the kindness of Swalwell’s heart that this was all possible. Because he was able to see Mick as a person and not as a homeless man, he was able to help him find his family and get on his feet with social security. “It has opened my eyes to others in Mick’s situation. All of us is family, all of us is somebody’s someone,” Swalwell said.

A Large Family

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Mick now has a large family who love him unconditionally. He had never expected to find his birth family, much less end up living with his birth mother. Mick was able to find a job and is surrounded by people who love in.