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Family Gets Message from Homeless Relative Living Across the Country

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EAGLES MERE -- Thanks to an online holiday greeting, a family from Sullivan County is hopeful that their relative, who is homeless and living on the other side of the country, will be able to come back home.

Jennifer Gottshall-Gavitt had no contact with her brother Jeff for nearly 20 years, but then on Christmas Eve, out of the blue, she was shown an online greeting from her brother, who is now homeless in San Francisco. Jennifer says, with just a click of a button, her hope was renewed

Jennifer Gottshall-Gavitt of Eagles Mere showed her children pictures of her older brother when he was a boy.

"20 years of silence is what killed my hope, but memories like this is what kept it alive," said Jennifer Gottshall-Gavitt from Eagles Mere.

A picture of the two was taken in the 70's as they were growing up in Montoursville. She says her brother left home when he was 24 years old and never came back.

"The last I knew he was in California, but we didn't know where anymore or if he was still there," said Gottshall-Gavitt.

Then on Christmas Eve, Jennifer got the shock of her life when she saw a video posted on the Montoursville Borough Police Department’s Facebook page.

"My name is Jeffery Michael Gottshall. I was born August 7, 1969 in a small town in Pennsylvania named Montoursville," said Jeffery Gottshall.

"I was watching it and I was kind of like, 'Oh my God, that's my brother,'" said Gottshall-Gavitt.

Jeffrey is now homeless and living in San Francisco. A media and interaction company called NearShot helped Jeffrey and other homeless people share holiday greetings with family by posting a video online.

"Tell them I intend to come home and see them sometime," said Gottshall.

That video of Jeff has reached thousands, and dozens have shared it after Montoursville Borough Police posted it to their Facebook page. Now there are some people looking to raise money for Jeff to help bring him home.

"I think it's great that we have a community that's actively involved with the police department and we can do a lot of great things together," said Deputy Chief Jason Bentley from Montoursville police.

Jennifer hopes that her brother will see a video she sent back to him with her children, who Jeffrey has never met. She hopes he will want to come home and accept the help.

"They are not just a person huddled under a blanket. They are a brother, a sister a father. They could be a veteran. They are a human being," said Gottshall-Gavitt.

More than $2,000 has been raised online to help bring Jeffrey Gottshall home.


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