Identify Society Homeless 366 6/12/2024 day 256, Wednesday, Wayward Teen

6/12/2024 day 256, Wednesday, Wayward Teen

I woke up at my girlfriend’s apartment, and left for work around 8:00 a.m. I arrived at work at around 8:30 a.m.

I took the outreach backpack and I walked around some of the local target areas like McDonald’s, the faith-based homeless day center, and I stopped by the bus station. While at the bus station I took a look in the alley next to the parking garage that’s attached to the bus station. I noticed there was a young woman sleeping on a mattress in the alley. I tried to wake her up and I asked her if she wanted any assistance. She nodded that she was fine. I asked her if she wanted any help and she shook her head so I left her there, since she was sleeping and did not seem distressed, I figured she would wake up and go on her way.

I arrived back at the shelter around lunch time and I stayed in the shelter till about 3:30 p.m. and got antsy so I decided to walk near McDonald’s to see if any homeless people were there. And once again I walked to the bus station. On a hunch I decided to check the alleyway again and see if the girl was still sleeping there. To my surprise she was still sleeping on the mattress in the alley. Once again I kicked the mattress and tried to wake her up. She did not wake. I got a closer look at her face and realized that she was very young. I called the homeless police officer, to inform him, just in case, she is under 18 or possibly a runway. The homeless cop asked me to call an ambulance but I informed him that an ambulance was not necessary. The homeless cop met me in the parking lot next to the alley he who’s coming from a meeting and was dressed in a college shirt, khakis, and loafers with no socks. I said to him, at least she won’t feel threatened by you. We both engaged the girl. We woke her up and began asking her questions. She stated she was 19 and someone had dropped her off in Lawrence and now she was stuck here homeless. I brought her to the shelter where she was given a bed. This young woman seems to present as someone having some form of psychological issue, in my opinion I think it could be schizophrenia.

I had the 19-year-old girl fill out an intake form to be admitted to the shelter. I asked her some questions like how long has she been homeless? She replied that she has been homeless for 2 years since her mother left for Florida and left her all alone. I asked her if she used any substances and she said that she did not. I asked her if she had any psych history or ever had been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons and she said no. It just didn’t add up?! She had put her mother’s number on the intake form and I asked her if we could call her mother and she said yes. I called the mother’s number on the shelter phone and I handed her the phone. The 19-year-old girl engaged in a conversation with her mother that was very strange. She had told her mother that a man had dropped her off in Lawrence. She seemed genuinely happy to speak with her mother, and at one point she said to her mother that she did what she was supposed to and found a place to sleep. There was a lot of I miss you and love yous and then I asked if I could speak with her mother. I told the 19-year-old girl’s mother that I’d found her sleeping on a mattress in an alleyway in Lawrence. The mother didn’t seem too concerned, and then she said, I heard Lawrence is a dangerous place. I told the 19-year-old girl’s mother, yes I work in the streets of Lawrence and it’s very dangerous for a 19-year-old girl. I explained to the girl’s mother that her daughter is in our care now and she was welcome to stay here as long as she wanted.

The whole situation just didn’t make sense to me. How could a mother abandon her child at the age of 17? Why wouldn’t a mother be frantic that her child was homeless on the streets of Lawrence sleeping on a mattress in an alleyway? It all just didn’t add up and I wanted answers.

After I spoke with the girl, and worked on her shelter intake it was around 5:30.

I left work and drove to my campsite and I slept in my tent for the night.

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