Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sad Options

With unkempt hair and a layer of street dirt on her face, arms, legs, and feet, she danced in front of me in a way that would make any dad cringe.  This was not a dance of sensuality but of trying to remain verticle while under the influence of her medicine.  She was holding my cell phone as she searched the public records and called local hospitals hoping to find a missing friend from this community.

After five days of no one seeing our mutual friend (now eight days as of this writing), the young lady dancing in front of me was suddenly worried.  The possibilities for where she may be are painful and hopeful.  Too many people are found dead from their drug habits in abandoned houses where no one sees them overdosing and in plain sight where no one bothers to check on them as they lay there hour after hour.

As a missing woman, the possibilities and fears take on additional worry of her having been attacked.  I've heard countless women say that this fear is why they don't sleep well at night in addition to the typical unpleasantries of trying to sleep homeless.

My dancing friend and I agreed that given the possibilities, we were hopeful that she was locked up and safe.  At least, in jail, she would be away from harm on the streets and in a forced detox.

What sad options to choose from....

I asked two of the more senior members of this community about contacting her family to tell them that we've not seen their sister/daughter in several days.  Their answer was insightful and painful:

"We have caused so much pain in the lives of our families that most of them don't want to hear from us.  To contact her family would only cause unwanted worry.  We recommend not contacting them."

Reader of this blog: What would you do?  Would you risk it and reach out to her family?  If you are a family member of an addicted person on the street, even if you feel that the bridge has been burned, would you want someone who is concerned for their whereabouts to reach out to you with their concern?

After some time of searching, my dancing friend excused herself saying that she had to get ready for work.  Maybe half an hour later, I saw a clean, well groomed and elegantly dressed woman walking down the sidewalk under the bridge.  She was out of place for her surroundings.  I quickly realized that this was the same young lady who had been using my phone and that her "work" was an upcoming parade of "dates" for the rest of the night.

I'm thankful to this young lady, the two senior members I spoke with and the many other men and women who reside under this bridge for allowing me into their lives.  I hope and pray that I'm able to show them that they are cared for and loved by God regardless of what's happening in their lives.

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