There are hundreds of missing family members, and tens of thousands of runaways living on the streets in this country. When you have lost a relative, and you are desperately trying to find them, there is a way to make it easier. If you walk the streets and search the haunts of the homeless and the runaways, you may walk right past your family member and not even recognize them. That is because the streets change people, change their appearance, and make them nearly unrecognizable. However, mobile DNA testing services can help. Here is how.
Bring the DNA Testing to Soup Kitchens and Shelters
As a condition of being fed and having a warm place to sleep, those walking through the doors are asked to allow the shelter and kitchen staff to swab mouths. You may not be able to legally require that everyone consents to a swab, but you can ask. Nurses can volunteer their time or be hired to do this if the staff do not want to. An instant picture camera should be used to document each person that seeks food or shelter and has agreed to the mouth swabbing process. This will help sort out who's who, even if your relative is going by a false name. Since you are also keeping a photo record, you will be able to find the person you seek on sight when and if the mobile DNA tests find who you are looking for.
Mobile DNA Testing Is Rapid
Mobile DNA testing is rapid, which means that in the time it takes to eat a meal, go back for seconds, or bed down for the night in a shelter, the tests can tell you if anyone coming through the kitchen or shelter doors is any relation of your own. Those performing the tests for you can take a sample and create a comparison test of your own DNA. The comparison and matching is based on alleles, which are genetic traits that show up in the DNA marker test. When enough alleles match between your test results and the test results of someone else coming to the shelter or kitchen, you have found a relative, and all in a matter of a very short time.
Your Next Move
Runaways are likely to recognize you if they see you. They might run, but at least you would have a more current photograph to give the police. As for other family members, they are probably on the streets because of problems with addiction or mental health problems. If that is the case, the relative may or may not recognize you, but you can certainly try to rescue them. At the very least, you would know that they is alive, and what they now looks like.