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Children in Need

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Blue Rising
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Children in Need

Postby Blue Rising » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:00 am

I once met a young girl, J. She was a classmate of my daughter's in high school. We met at a choir concert. Both girls full of promise, full of hope. She captured my heart, with her feisty spirit and her beautiful smile. A smile that lit up her whole face.

As I got to know J, I learned of her story. Her mother was a crack whore, literally. She had a younger sister and brother. When she was 14, she called child protective services on her own situation, trying to get her brother to a safer environment. She thought that was his best hope to have a life. She had lived in the same house where her mother was doing drugs and whatnot, getting her brother up and fed, dressed, and off to school for several years before she called.

She ended up in a loving foster home, as did her brother. She lost track of him at some point, the foster family wanted to create a separation between his new life and his old life. And she understood. She knew he was safe and warm, fed, and loved.

She graduated high school, really against all the odds. She even moved off and started college in a small town an hour or so away. She worked really hard, because she had hope. She had herself, she had her strength.

And then she was raped.

A child was produced, a beautiful little girl. But in that instant, her life changed...It would have been a blessing for her to get some counseling at that point. But she didn't. Instead she slipped into the very patterns and cycles she was trying so hard to get away from. Not the drugs, but the lifestyle. I guess, she didn't ever slip into the lifestyle, but she couldn't pull herself completely away from the people. I guess that is a more accurate way to describe it. She wanted desperately to rise above it all, but I watched as she tried and just couldn't. She didn't have the opportunities it would have taken, and fresh out of a trauma like that one she had...well...she didn't get the kind of help she needed. And geez, she never had a real mother figure either.

At this point, she has three children. One child is with his biological father and his family. The two remaining girls, who are simply little angels, are with her.

Tonight she contacted my daughter. They do keep in touch, they talk from time to time. But it had been awhile.

J slept in her car last night with her two daughters. I think their ages are 3 and 6 months. Her food stamp card is empty. She was standing outside a W-mart trying to sell her stroller and her shoes for $10 to feed them. The shelters are full, she is on a waiting list. She had a job interview yesterday and is awaiting the call to hear whether she starts work soon.

This kind of stuff can be a minefield to maneuver. It really can. Every soul is on a path. Some paths are heart and gut wrenching. Doing what we can do while knowing it isn't enough. Trying not to let situations pluck my heart to the point that my emotions bury me. So I am lighting a candle, I really am. I'm mustering everything I have and asking for Divine Light to be shed on her. I'm sending blessings. One day, I hope to Gawd...one day...every baby will eat. Every child will feel loved and safe. Including the children with broken hearts inside young adult bodies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhR36gV6vW4

I send blessings....I send love...I send compassion...for those who really are in need. If anyone would like to join me in doing so.....I'm opening up the space. Right here.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Hermit
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Re: Children in Need

Postby Hermit » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:21 am

This is the time when you wish there was a love post button as well.
Ingressum instruas, progressum dirigas, egressum compleas.

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Naga_Fireball
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Re: Children in Need

Postby Naga_Fireball » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:22 pm

I agree with Hermit..
Thank you for the fantastic & heartfelt post.


It's a tragic and difficult subject to tackle, but fundamentally you are restoring the humanity of people society ignores.


As you know, sometimes parents who are able to care for their kids fail to do so.

It's sickening to see good people suffering that much, that they are trying hard but there is so little help.

I hope she found or finds a church to help them until the shelter is available. :(
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Naga_Fireball
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Re: Children in Need

Postby Naga_Fireball » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:23 pm

Here is one to break all our hearts,



Toddler found eating off ground at Seattle homeless encampment
Josh Kerns 4 months ago
homeless children

What can police do when it comes to homeless children? This is the story of one such girl found in a Seattle homeless encampment.


It was something that had become common for Washington State Patrol Sergeant Courtney Stewart — providing security while Washington Department of Transportation crews cleaned up remains of a Seattle encampment near Safeco Field. This time it brought her face-to-face with the issue of homeless children in the region.

Stewart was surprised to see several derelict RV’s and a number of tents still at the site, even though they’d been warned a cleanup was coming. Her surprise turned to anger when she rounded the corner and spotted a small homeless child sitting in the dirt.

Exclusive: Ride-along as Seattle police reach out to help homeless

“She saw an approximately two-year-old child sitting on the ground eating stale powdered donuts on the ground and coloring,” said Trooper Rick Johnson, a spokesperson for the Washington State Patrol (the State Patrol wouldn’t let us talk directly with Sgt. Stewart.)

Johnson said the sergeant was heartsick seeing the little girl in such deplorable conditions.

The child was filthy, her diaper full.

“So she took it upon herself to change the child’s diaper,” Johnson said. “She noticed that one of her toenails had fungus and was falling off.”

The child’s parents were reportedly “at the store,” several other campers told Stewart. But Stewart felt those supposedly supervising her were active drug users not capable of providing appropriate supervision, Johnson said.

Sgt. Stewart called Child Protective Services directly and a representative came out and took the child into protective custody.

The mother eventually came back and didn’t seem too surprised or all that concerned, Johnson says.

Homeless children

It’s not the only time law enforcement has encountered homeless children in such horrible conditions.

I spoke with several officers at both the Washington State Patrol and Seattle Police Department who have come upon and tried to help homeless families. They are prohibited from talking on the record with media about homeless children.

All told me that unless there is an immediate and urgent threat, as perceived by CPS, they can’t do anything. However, a representative with Department of Social and Health Services clarified state law requires the immediate reporting of any concern. And law enforcement has the authorization to remove someone from a dangerous situation.

For example, one of my sources told me about destitute parents living in a bus in Seattle with several kids, but despite what he thought were unacceptable conditions for a child, CPS decided following an investigation that it was in the family’s best interest to keep the kids with the parents.

You’d think with the growing homeless crisis, someone would be out looking to ensure the safety of homeless children.

You’d be wrong — at least proactively.

The Department of Social and Health Services does not have any people proactively looking into the welfare of homeless children, according to Norah West, a spokesperson with DSHS.

DSHS does have dedicated staffers who respond to complaints of youth missing from foster care by encampment residents, law enforcement other family members or others, but that doesn’t address young children living in squalor with their homeless parent or parents. And all responses are reactive.

“We know that supporting families to achieve housing stability also supports and reinforces the safety and well being of the children involved, so we spend a great deal of time, energy and resources providing that support,” West said. “This includes connecting families with local Community Services Offices for access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), housing vouchers, etc., when appropriate.”

“When families have found and secured housing on their own, but find they cannot pay first/last/deposit, we can also help with funds,” she said.

Multiple calls and an email sent to the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department went unanswered, so there was no way of determining if anyone from the city proactively investigates known encampments for signs of children in potential distress.

As for the little girl, DSHS won’t tell me what happened to her — whether she’s OK or whether she has been returned to the custody of her mother and is living back out on the streets. All we know is she isn’t dead.

“Except in the case of a fatality or near fatality of a child, information related to child welfare services, including whether or not a child is in the care of the state or otherwise ‘taken care of,’ is protected by confidentiality law (RCW 13.50.100),” West said.

But at least we know, thanks to Sgt. Stewart, that the child was given a chance.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Naga_Fireball
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Re: Children in Need

Postby Naga_Fireball » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:28 pm

Can you believe that?
The most blessed country in the world?

I laugh, I weep, it is one and the same.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper


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