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Homeless man posts ad, asking for a family on Thanksgiving

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NORFOLK, Va. (WTKR) - Ask and you shall receive; it's a lesson that a Virginia man recently learned when he asked for a big gift this holiday season.

Neal Shytles doesn't have very much to his name.

He is homeless and has been staying at a shelter in Norfolk for over a year.

"You know, I'm grateful for even being here," he said.

Despite being grateful for having a place to sleep, Shytles says he longs for just one thing.

"I am lonely, like, 365 days-a-year, but Christmas and Thanksgiving are two of the worst days, and I really miss having some kind of family atmosphere around me," he said.

Last week, he posted an ad to WTKR's Facebook page, asking for a family to take him in for Thanksgiving.wanted ad

"It would mean the world to me if somebody took me in," he said. "Just for that one day, for a couple of hours."

Shytles grew up near the shelter but says the family he has left doesn't live nearby.

"It hurts me to be alone, no family or nobody around," he said.

After 15 years behind the wheel of a taxi, Shytles lost his job.

"Everything that I'd saved up, I started dishing out to people that were taking me in and everything was gone," he said. " When I was dropped off at the front door here, I was one of these people that never thought I would be here."

He now rents a room at the shelter with the money he collects from Social Security.

What he wanted most this holiday was something money couldn't buy.

"I'm lonely and it's just forming that relationship with somebody would be so important to me. It would mean so much and I would really cherish it," he said.

Earlier this week, Shytles learned that he would have someplace special to go on Thanksgiving.