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After 24 Years Apart, NJ Transit Police Help Reunite Dad With Family

A before-and-after photo of Jose Lopez, a homeless man who had not seen his family in nearly a quarter-century.
A before-and-after photo of Jose Lopez, a homeless man who had not seen his family in nearly a quarter-century. Photo Credit: NJ Transit

A homeless man who hadn't seen his daughters in 24 years -- and who had never met some of his grandchildren -- was reunited with them with help from a concerned NJ Transit police officer, the agency said.

Transit police in the Secaucus Junction station found 61-year-old Jose Lopez, who is homeless, Aug. 6. The former Monmouth County resident had traveled from Miami to meet with his long-lost children.

Officers in Secaucus sent him on to Newark Penn Stration, where Crisis Outreach Officer Sean Pfeifer decided to help locate Lopez's offspring. The agency's outreach program is a one-stop resource for homeless and at-risk individuals, who often congregate at Newark's Penn Station and other transit hubs.

After numerous calls, one of Lopez's daughters called back and a meeting was arranged at Penn Station in Newark. Before their reunion Lopez got a shave, haircut and some new clothes. He spent the weekend with his daughter in Bradley Beach, the agency said.

"Officer Pfeifer went above and beyond the call of duty to help this man and reunite him with his family, and we see this type of dedicated service every day from our New Jersey Transit Police,” said NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett.

As Officer Pfeifer demonstrated, New Jersey Transit Police do so much more in addition to protecting our customers and employees. They genuinely care for the people in the communities we serve.”

A mental health agency is helping Lopez find permanent housing.

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