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How an act of kindness reunited siblings with the brother they thought they’d lost

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:17 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:20 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Adrian Haynes his family remembers was a studious, kindhearted and fun-loving young man.

Earl Moses beams when he talks about his baby brother.

“He was just an all-around good dude. He never so much as smoked a cigarette,” he said.

But something went wrong after Haynes got out of the Army where he served in Afghanistan. About four years ago, he told his family on the mainland he was moving to Hawaii, then all communication suddenly stopped.

Moses filed a missing persons report, but heard nothing. He feared his brother had died. That’s where Makakilo resident Tom Solie enters the picture.

“I’d go past him on Vineyard. I thought, ‘Man, that’s a shame that this guy is homeless,’ anybody is homeless for that matter,” he said.

Haynes camps near a service station on Vineyard Boulevard. Solie said he’s been there for months, if not years. He was moved to act, slowly gaining Haynes’ trust through casual conversation that was mostly one-sided.

“He was very non-verbal, very quiet when he talked,” Solie said. “You could hardly understand what he was saying.”

But he persisted, discovering bits and pieces of his life story that started with his name.

“I’d say, ‘When you’re ready to get off the street, give me a call or come into my shop and we’ll try to figure it out for you,’” Solie said.

He learned Haynes was from Toledo, Ohio.

“My girlfriend went on Facebook and got hold of the administrator of a missing person’s site on Facebook in Toledo, Ohio. Within 20 minutes someone types on there, ‘That’s my little brother!’” Solie said.

He spoke on the telephone with Moses and another of Haynes’ brothers. They were shocked by the photographs they saw of their younger sibling, dirty and disheveled. But they were happy to know he was alive.

“We got on a plane, flew down there, tried to get him to come on back. He wasn’t willing to do that. He’s just not right mentally. If I could have gotten him on a plane, trust me I would have,” Moses said, from his home in Arizona.

He believes his brother is suffering from PTSD and other issues, and the family isn’t giving up. With help from the Institute for Human Services, they’re now working on getting guardianship of Haynes. And they thank Solie for bringing him back into their lives.

“Tom has been a big help. I met a gentleman by the name of Keith at IHS. He’s been a big help. That’s why I’m optimistic,” Moses said.

The guardianship process could take months. Solie wishes it would move faster.

“Three weeks later he’s still on the street, and the wheels of red tape are moving slowly to get him the help he needs. That’s frustrating,” he said.

Moses said his little brother is now 31. When he was in his right mind he was adventurous and outgoing. He believes the old Adrian Haynes will come back, but it won’t be overnight.

“We’re going to do whatever we got to do to get him some help,” he said.

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