SARASOTA, FLA. — Because of one social media post, Rocky Been went from homeless to employed — at Crabby’s Bar and Grill. He’s even received donations to pay for a hotel room for a couple of nights.
The story took an even sweeter turn, as Been was discovered by his long lost sisters after they saw News Channel 8’s story.
He was nervous while walking on Clearwater Beach to meet his siblings. “Oh, extremely. Oh my gosh,” Been said about his nervousness. “I’m just going to give them a big hug and kiss.”
His sisters were waiting in the distance. “Ten years since I’ve seen him,” Marti Been said.
“I mean I’ve seen pictures of him but I’ve never met him as a grown up or an adult,” Sandra Brownridge said.
Last week, WFLA shared Rocky Been’s story after a Good Samaritan helped him. Rocky was homeless, sleeping on a pier when Matthew Cardozo gave him his sweater. Cardozo posted a picture of Rocky on social media, asking the community to help him. Within hours dozens responded.
From that post, Rocky received the job, clothes and financial assistance. Now he has family.
“I can’t get over seeing Sandra and Marti after all these years,” he said.
Marti was the first to see the story. “I cried at work. And then I couldn’t even finish my day out. It was like 3 o’clock, I don’t know what time it was, but I couldn’t finish my day out. I was just so excited to get home,” she said.
While Marti hadn’t seen her brother in 10 years, it’s been more than 30 years for Sandra.
“I saw him once when I was little. How old would I have been? Maybe 6,” Sandra said.
The family lost touch with Rocky, but no one knew he was homeless.
“I was devastated, because it’s like the four years he’s been homeless,” Marti said. “That’s sad because he had no way to reaching out to us, saying, ‘Hey, I need help.’”
Now they’re back together again. Even Sandra’s kids met their uncle for the first time. And this time, they’re not letting go.
“God has a plan and if it’s meant to be, you’re going to find that person again,” Sandra said.