When I meet a youth on outreach for the first time, I am always aware that it may be the only time I ever see them.
The lives of street-engaged youth can be so insecure and unpredictable that our paths may never cross again. Knowing this, I try my best to make some sort of connection and pray that I have helped the youth in some way.
I met Jasmine in the summer of 2014. She was standing on bank street and told me she was staying in a shelter after becoming homeless after fleeing an abusive relationship. We talked for a little, and then I went on with my route. Months passed and I didn’t see her again. I wondered about her…was she still at the shelter? Had she returned to her abusive partner?
Then, about 7 months later I received this text:
Since sending me this text, Jasmine has become a member of the Passion 4 Youth Fine Arts Program. She is there every week and always has a bright smile on her face.
I took a picture of this text and saved it so that if I every wonder if these brief outreach meetings are meaningful, I know the answer.