In 2003 I went to Houston with some friends. We were in an area of the city with a lot of homeless people. We went to use a public restroom and had to wait in line. My friends all went before me, and eventually I was left alone in the yellow, dirty bathroom with complete strangers. And by strangers, I mean they were strange. I fell into conversation with this one particularly interesting old woman. It took me a while to figure out she must have been homeless — I think the multiple empty plastic grocery bags were the give away. Anyway, she asked me how long I had been in Houston. So I truthfully told her about two hours.
I must have had that young, vulnerable run away look about me, because her response was: “Oh! Well, I know a guy who takes in girls like you. And I know he’s taken in white girls before — well, she was hispanic. But he’ll give you a place to stay and he’ll take care of you…” My innocent 17-year old mind finally comprehended her proposition. I sweetly assured her that I was okay and wouldn’t need her help making my way in the world. That was my first and only “job” offer (in Houston, anyway).
Beth the Other Admin