Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Outreach Log

One of our amazing volunteers celebrates her 13th year as a Yellow Brick Road outreach worker this week! This makes her our longest-running & most consistent volunteer in the history of the program. Although she wishes to remain anonymous, we wish to thank "J" very much for her dedication to Yellow Brick Road and her incredible energy on the streets of Portland. Thanks for everything you do! It's an honor to have you with us. And in an effort to further celebrate her work with Yellow Brick Road, we are publishing a recent log entry from her team's shift. The following excerpts represent one 3-hour outreach shift on-foot in downtown Portland:

Busy out there tonight! 145 guys and 56 gals, which is a record for me I think. Sheesh. Everywhere we went was really busy, especially under the Steel Bridge and Burnside Bridge...Huge crowds of people and an unusual number of Hispanic men that didn't speak English. Oh, I wish I spoke Spanish on nights like tonight! We were able to refer one man to Outside In medical clinic for chest pains. He was near tears from the pain but refused medical treatment and said he had already been to the hospital. He assured us that he would go to Outside In tomorrow and we gave him a Rose City Resource Guide for other services...We met a man named "Johnny" under the Burnside Bridge who accepted lots of first aid supplies. He said he likes to stock up and distribute supplies to people he meets on the streets. He explained that this prevents him from "having to patch people up with duct tape", like the stab wound he apparently tended to earlier in the evening! Also, his dog "K9" was one of the cutest animals I've ever met! Our hygiene kits were very popular on the streets tonight! People are very appreciative of them...We met a boy who was vague and non-commital about the source of bleeding on his face. If we had to guess I'd say it was a steel-toe boot injury or something similar! We ran out of all first-aid supplies tonight. Everyone needed stuff...our bags were really close to empty by 8pm! At PGE Park we encountered lots of younger folks...things seem to be getting more out-of-hand at the Fireman's Memorial...more alcohol use, more drama, and more shouting than usual. We reminded people to be respectful while they are hanging out at the Memorial. We'll give a heads up to shelter staff as well...There was also a high volume of women on the streets tonight. We gave lots of referrals to S.A.F.E. (Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter). Overall, an incredibly busy and productive night our there!
~J & J (Monday Night Yellow Brick Road Team)

* Thanks again "J"!
Here's to many more years with Yellow Brick Road...

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