There are many homeless youth and many but not all end up prostituting and on drugs. It hurts the heart. Imagine yourself homeless at 14. I saw Jennifer quite a bit around Portland after this initial encounter, even chastised her latest boyfriend once when I saw him being gruff with her. She also seemed to be content with panhandling and selling newspapers rather than prostitution which I count as a deep blessing. If we judge folks for what they do to survive, it makes it impossible to help them.
Jennifer is eighteen, beautiful and feisty. I met her one night over by Plaid Pantry; she was cussing out some folks for just walking on by when she asked for a cigarette. I offer her one and it makes her day.
She has me watch her pack while she goes into the store where she purchases a pop and steals some cookies and a candy bar. She is also a heroin junkie and has been on the streets since fourteen. She is sick of people with homes treating her like she doesn’t exist. Said she may try and over does again or jump off Suicide Bridge, at the very least move to another town.
She hates her stripper sister who was her payee until she turned 18. Instead of getting Jennifer a place, she spent the 800 a month on herself. Jennifer wants to get an ID soon so she can start living the easy life as a pole dancer.
She rationalizes her stealing by saying she only ever steals necessities. Heroin, at the least, is a 50 dollar a day habit Jennifer’s is more like 80, lots of junkies steal high end items to resell or trade for dope. I asked her how she came up with the cash for her habit, she said, “I suck cock and I hate it, I hate it so much.”
She has had junkie boyfriends who prostituted her out so they could both get dope. She claimed she was going back to girls because, “men suck.” I am actually not too worried about her. Her feistiness, I believe, will get her through this, but it a very sad story and she is a sad girl underneath all that anger.
I watched her shoot up and she was saying what a great drug it was, it must be powerful if it can make all that angst of being homeless at such a young age magically disappear.
I did mention a place I thought could help her kick the heroine and she as everyone I mentioned recovery to, reacted strongly against the suggestion. It was the last time I mentioned it to anyone. People are well aware of what their options are and preaching, coaching and converting seem to do no good as far as I can tell, it creates a backlash.
I love her dearly & hope you folks will pray for her
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