An unexpected family reunion


SALT LAKE CITY — A year ago, we told you a story on the misconceptions and struggles the homeless community face.  The story brought a surprising and unexpected family reunion.

When we think of the homeless community, we tend to forget that these people have families, and that perhaps a family member might be looking for their loved ones.

What would you do if you were presented with a second chance to self-healing and reconciliation? 

Meet Brialee Nelson, a young woman who never thought she’d be presented with that opportunity.

“There was a video of my father, and he was being interviewed and I was like, what is going on?  What’s this interview for?  And I see that he was trying to advocate for homelessness, and I was like, why would my father advocate for homelessness?  And then I put two and two together that he was homeless himself,” said Brialee Nelson.

It was an unexpected surprise.  She recognized her father after not seeing him for over a decade; her first reaction was to look for him.

“I took to the streets of Salt Lake when I found out that my father was homeless.  I went to every homeless shelter in Salt Lake City,” said Nelson.

Almost a year after our homeless story aired, Brialee Nelson’s life took an unexpected turn that led her into a journey of healing, self-worth, and a second chance.

“Finding out that it was my birth father, it wrecked me.  I was so emotionally destroyed, all in the same sense I was so uplifted when I found my father. The last place I saw him, was the first place I found him — on his birthday, September 20th, 2019,” said Nelson.

“On my birthday, I got a call. My girlfriend said, ‘your daughter is downstairs. That’s your real baby downstairs.’  It was just like being in the hospital, like seeing her for the first time,” said Benjamin Battle.

So, what would you do if you were presented with a second chance?  Brialee and Benjamin have been presented with an opportunity to start all over again. They are busy trying to make up for all the lost time they missed.  They both look forward in getting to know each other again.

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