• Elizabeth Cornwall

Why Did I Think My Brother Was Homeless in Las Vegas?

After I woke up from my March 25 dream, I called my parents and brothers and asked them about their efforts to find Kerry over the past 25 years. I got his social security number and started trying to find out if he was receiving benefits (or maybe even paying into the system) or even if he was listed as deceased. I started a research notebook: a binder with lots of college-ruled, blank pages and unlabeled page dividers.

Every family has a secret, and Kerry was ours.

My dad, who lived in Boulder City, had seen a 2009 a newspaper picture of a man in a Las Vegas food line run by a man I later learned that the homeless called Tony Baloney for the love-filled bologna sandwiches he made from his own funds. My dad had tried to find this man with no luck. His resemblance to my brother was striking I tucked that information in the back of mind.

I continued my life as a working housewife — three hot meals on the table every day, attending my Master Gardeners class, taking my special needs son to his theatre class and job, and teaching embroidery to homeschooled girls. Except, that my day-to-day life soon became overwhelmed with the multiplication of phone calls and meticulous records of each and every one and using my project management skills to think through my next research move.

I started a Facebook page called "Find My Homeless Brother," a gmail of the same name and got on Twitter where homeless advocates bleed for me and my story and gave me endless suggestions.

Day by day, I grew more confident in my search — calm and sure despite the skepticism of many.

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