My outreach team was downtown recently when we saw a large group of street friends ahead of us. There were about 10 men – they were drinking, yelling, listening to the loud music that was blasting from a stereo. We approached and started giving out outreach supplies. I noticed that in the center of the group was one woman who was closely surrounded by the men.
I couldn’t tell for sure if she needed help so I tried to make eye contact with.
She approached me and looked into my outreach bag, pretending to ask for outreach supplies. Instead she said “Can you get me out of here?”
I took her arm and started walking purposefully away. She was very intoxicated and had to lean on me for support. As we walked away she started crying, saying that some of the men were pressuring her to take them home with her.
She asked us to walk her to her friend’s place where she knew she’d be safe. We walked with her and listened to her as she cried. When we got to her friend she hugged us goodbye and thanked us for keeping her safe.
I’m so thankful that when she saw us in our red outreach vests she recognized us as safe people who could help her.
– Moira, Youth Outreach Worker