You’ll never believe how this New York mother discovered her son was homeless in Washington, D.C.

Nick Simmons of Greece, New York, went missing about a week ago, and he was just recently found on Monday morning.
Jan 05, 2016

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  • Nick Simmons of Greece, New York, who went missing about a week ago, was found Monday morning.

  • But this wasn't your normal search-and-rescue story — Simmons was discovered in an Associated Press photo in his hometown paper, of all things.

  • As USA Today reported, the 20-year-old was found in Washington, D.C., after his family saw an Associated Press photo of him.

  • The photo, seen below, shows a homeless man, who the caption referred to as "Nick," who is wrapped in a blanket outside the U.S. capitol building.

  • The family members called their local police department to tell them Simmons was in the photo, which led to officials finding Nick and taking him to a nearby hospital, USA Today reported.

  • "Nick is alive and obviously not well," Simmons' mother, Michelle Simmons, wrote on Facebook. "(We) are going to get him home safe and this is by far the greatest example of God's love and divine intervention I have ever experienced."

  • Michelle Simmons and the rest of the Simmons family have AP photographer Jacquelyn Martin to thank for the photo, The Blaze reported. Martin had been assigned to take photos of the White House, but didn't have much to snap since the Obama family was on vacation. So instead, she snapped some shots of homeless people surviving the cold weather on the Washington, D.C., streets.

  • Martin said she was surprised Nick was so young, which serves as a reminder that everyone has an important story to tell, The Blaze reported.

  • "It's really gratifying to see that a photograph can make a tangible difference in someone's life. That's a really amazing thing to have happened," Martin said, The Blaze reported. "I'm happy and touched that the photograph could help reunite this family."

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  • Greece police Sgt. David Mancuso called the discovery a "miracle" and "dumb luck." And he's sort of right. USA Today said that the Associated Press carries thousands of photos that can be published in just as many publications throughout the country. Finding one specific photo of a person would be very hard to do, USA Today reported.

  • More so, the homeless population in Washington, D.C., is extremely high, making it even more difficult to find a needle in a haystack like Simmons. In fact, the greater Washington, D.C., area has close to 11,000 homeless people, The Washington Post reported.

  • And though there's been a 2.7 percent drop in the homeless population this year, the homeless issue is still a major problem plaguing the city. Homeless people will often flood service centers and government-funded shelters, even clogging the streets outside of the metro area.

  • "As in years past, the bulk of the annual homeless tally included thousands of adults and hundreds of families huddled in government-funded shelters," The Post reported.

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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