Recently a young woman just starting her adult life learned life on the street was not for her and one of our EPD Downtown Team officers was happy to intervene.
On Saturday, January 14, Eugene Police Downtown Officer Allison Jordan was flagged down about a 19-year-old in distress at the LTD Market Station. She located the young woman (pseudonym Abby) and found she had been transported to Eugene by some of her acquaintances, who then abandoned her without a phone, vehicle, or money. She only had a purse and a small bag with her and appeared disheveled. She told Officer Jordan she had never been arrested and had never had to sleep out on the streets. She never wanted to be on the street again after barely being able to sleep at a local shelter. Officer Jordan realized the experience had opened “Abby’s” eyes and she was hopeful this was enough to motivate “Abby” and cause a big change.
“Abby” is originally from the Oregon coast area and had been asked to leave home due to her drug use. Her family was at their wits’ end. Even though this had happened, Officer Jordan encouraged “Abby” to call her mother. The young woman provided the phone number to Officer Jordan, who then dialed up the mother and eventually also spoke to the grandmother. “Abby’s” mother and grandmother were concerned for her safety and wellbeing. Despite the past behavior and drug use, they made a plan to purchase bus tickets for their family member with the caveat “Abby” would attend in-patient treatment upon arrival in her hometown.
“Abby” agreed to this and indicated she wanted to be home and to stop using drugs. She disclosed she began using cocaine recreationally before using methamphetamine. This was done as part of time spent with her "friends," when she felt pressured to do so, despite not really enjoying it. “Abby” also told Officer Jordan about the many unhoused people with mental illness and substance use disorder issues she had recently seen and she desperately wanted to prevent her life going in that direction.
Officer Jordan offered to give “Abby” a ride to the bus stop and then saw her off on her journey to a better place. Just a few days later, “Abby’s” mother emailed Officer Jordan to report her daughter had made it home and checked into in-patient treatment successfully, and to thank Officer Jordan for a new start.