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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I wake up at 3:00 am. Can't go back to sleep. Decide I am hungry for choclate ice cream. They have Haagen Daaz at Plaid pantry. Got the car parked out on the city street but decide to walk the five blocks to Plaid Pantry. I walk down twelfth to Jefferson. I notice a few people milling around. There are typically a number of vagrants roaming the streets in this area.

As I turn the corner onto Jefferson there is a gauntlet of vagrants hanging out. Immediately I hear the "Can you help me out?" routine. I walk past the crowd with fists clenched, chest up, and a serious look on my face. I am dressed entirely in black with a leather trench coat style jacket. These people know I have money and they want some of it. Nobody challenges me, although I hear "Come on man help me out" as I walk past.

I turn to go into the Plaid Pantry and there are five or six individuals hanging out in front of the door. They back off and give me space to enter the store. As I walk into the store I make eye contact with a young girl approximately nineteen years of age. She is accompanied by another older woman and several males in thier early twenties. All of them have several pounds of metal hanging from thier face. For that brief second that eye contact was made, I saw a very lost soul.

While I am in the store I can not help but think of this poor young girl and how she has ended up in the situation she is in.

As I walk out of the store the same young girl asks me for .39 cents. I reach into my coat pocket and give her all the change I have. Around two dollars. As I dropped the change into the girls hand, she grabbed a couple of my fingers and looked up at me. It was obvious that she desperately wanted me to take her with me. One can only imagine the suffering she has been through. I instinctively pulled my hand away and walked on.

Once I got back to my apartment I could not stop thinking about that poor young girl. I was wondering if her parents knew where she was. What will she become? I wish I could have helped her.

When one has the whole world at thier finger tips. They sometimes fail to see the suffering just a few blocks away.
 

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I have worked graveyard downtown for quite a while now and yes it is sad some times. I feel you on this one. rp
 

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This makes me think of a Dr. Phil show I saw recently. It was about the number of young women who are sold into sex slavery. I can only hope this is not the case with this young woman. I can only imagine what you felt when she was reaching out, and you could do nothing to help her. It had to be very heart wrenching. I hope and pray she will find her way out of the situation she is in. :pray:
 

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i wouldn't advise anyone to do it, but some of these young folks can be redeemed if you take the chance. one of my wife's former students ran away from home and became a prostitute in portland about 20 years ago. after about a week she decided she didn't like getting knocked around and called us, so we went and picked her up, called her parents and the cops and got her back home. she later joined the air force and has become a productive member of society. but she was right at the tipping point, as opposed to being all the way gone.

the problem is you never know if you're just being manipulated or if your good heart is being taken advantage of. too bad we have to consider that possibility.
 

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I have one word for you......

Heroine.

It is the biggest drug problem going through PDX streets right now, YES even more so than Meth. its addiction takes ahold faster than meth and a little bit can yeild a lot of hurt the next day. It also gives strong cravings for sweets.

Is it possible you could have taken her home and helped her out...maybe, but more likely she would her fallen again. it takes years of conditioning by family, society and self to get to a point where you are living on the streets begging for coin and/or selling your body. While the process can be shortened by good influences and timely action, it still takes years of voluntary self conditioning to get free of the attitudes and behaviors that have been formed. The odds aren't good.


Paul
 

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HMBF you better slow down. Don't try to save a drowning person or you may likely be pulled under too. That said, pulling some one from beneath the surface and out of the water is a good feeling even if they are jerks.

If you gave her a $20 she could probably get high for the night. Food and lodging are available for free in that area.

Sound like a scammer looking for a mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sound like a scammer looking for a mark.
That is very possible. But I know what I saw in this girls eye's was fear and a cry for help. I am not a mark and have heard every story you can imagine over the years. But there was no story in this case. It was all in the eyes.

I have lived downtown for almost twenty years. I have seen it all. Most of the permanent beggars have stopped asking me for change because I give them none. This girl did not belong. She was likely new to the streets due to drugs.

Now that I am older I put a higher value on youth. And I know that one day, that young girl is going to regret wasting her life.

I am still troubled by the encounter. But there was nothing I could really do other than give her the change she asked for. And in most cases I would not have even done that.
 

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That's a heavy ice cream addiction!!!
It is very sad especially when a guy sees a girl in trouble and you want to help, but how? If it was a guy(in trouble ) you have more moves available. As it is you can't even give her your phone number with out asking for trouble.
You might want to drop in to one of the outreach groups down there and ask them what to do if you encounter her again-they may have a person that could contact her and be of help to her if she wanted the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It is very sad especially when a guy sees a girl in trouble and you want to help, but how? If it was a guy(in trouble ) you have more moves available. As it is you can't even give her your phone number with out asking for trouble.
Exactly.

I spent almost a year on the streets when I was a teenager. I know what it is all about. I wised up and went back to mommy's arms. Hopefully this girl will do the same.
 
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