Cop Makes Choice to Ask Question Instead of Citing Homeless Man. Changes His Life Forever


When Mick Myers was 2 years old, he needed surgery. His biological mom, Polly, was already struggling to raise three kids on her own as a teen mom who had left her husband.

She didn’t have the resources to give Myers the kind of care he required once he became sick and in of surgery. Polly’s mother had a friend who was able to care for Myers in the ways Polly could not.

This friend adopted Myers. The connection he shared with his adoptive mother was the only meaningful and loving relationship Myers could remember in his 67 years of living until recently.

He has been homeless for the past 30 years and extremely lonely. Myers didn’t have a single close friend, family member, partner, or child to love.

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Deputy Jacob Swalwell with the Crime Prevention Unit of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office frequently warned Myers about panhandling.

When Swalwell saw Myers yet again on the street corner asking for money on Nov. 2, 2017, he was ready to cite him.

Myers explained he didn’t have an identification card, and Swalwell could tell this homeless man wasn’t lying to him. The deputy decided to ask Myers a question that would change the homeless man’s life forever.

“I asked him what’s it going to take to get you off the street because at that point I realized me writing him a citation, it’s not going to help him at all. When I got closer, I realized he was a senior citizen,” Swalwell told CBS News.

After three trips to the DMV and a lot more work than Swalwell ever expected, he made sure Myers got his own California Senior Citizen ID card. The life-changing intervention of people using their resources and expertise to help Myers continued with private investigator Mark Askins.

Myers hadn’t seen his birth mom in 65 years, but Askins located Polly. The lonely homeless man without an I.D. or family now had both when he and his mother were reunited.

Polly, 85-years-old, welcomed her son to her home with open arms and even offered to let him live with her and the rest of the family. Myers didn’t feel ready to move 250 miles away just yet, but has promised to visit often.

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Alameda County Sheriff’s Office concluded on Facebook, “Thousands of people drove by Michael everyday for years…Imagine how many others like Michael just need a tiny bit of help, someone to care and take notice.”

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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