As a volunteer detective, your role is to help people experiencing homelessness to locate and reconnect with their loved ones, based on the information that is captured by volunteer messengers. This includes:
- Using the video, case notes, and online resources to identify people who might be (or lead you to) the loved on in question
- Doing outreach by phone, email, or through social media channels to determine whether those leads have led you to the right person
- Making the initial connection to the loved one, in which you let that person know who you are and that there is a message for them
- Looping in the messenger so that the messenger can report back to the homeless client and, when appropriate, facilitate the reconnection*
*We encourage all volunteers to work as part of a team, and to take part in each step of the process. However, it is the messenger's responsibility to convey information to both parties once a connection has been made.
The video below will guide you through the steps of getting started as a detective.
Once you think you have identified the loved one in question, you can use any of the following scripts to reach out:
If you are using facebook:
Hi __[name]__! I'm a volunteer for a nonprofit called Miracle Messages (miraclemessages.org), where we try to reunite some lost family members.
We have a message from __[name]__ to his __[brother, mom, etc]__, __[name]__. One bit of information that was given by __[name]__ was that he also has a _[nephew, son, etc]_ named __[name]__, who __[is an engineer, went to UCLA, lives in SF, etc]__. Would this be you? :)
If you are using email:
Just left you a voicemail and thought I'd follow-up. My name is __[name]__ and I'm a volunteer for a nonprofit called Miracle Messages, which helps people record short video messages to their lost loved ones. You can learn more about our work at miraclemessages.org.
Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting __[name]__ here in __[location]___. We had a very nice conversation, and he recorded a 2 minute video message to you, saying that he hasn't seen you in nearly 35 years and would love to say hello and reconnect on an initial call.
I'd be happy to share the message with you if you are indeed his _[brother, mom, etc]_! Please let me know either way so I can ask our volunteers to continue the search if need be. You can reach me at _[phone number, this email address, etc]_. Thank you!
If you are calling on the phone:
"Hello, my name is ________ and trying to help locate _________on behalf of_________".
If you're give the chance, you can say: "I'm a volunteer detective for Miracle Messages, a non-profit that helps long lost family members to reconnect. __________has no resources to try and find _____________, so we're here to facilitate that."
So...there's your intro! At the end of this training, there will be opportunities to sign up for detective events (both online and in person). Don't forget to sign up!