We are living in exceptionally challenging times. The people served by Outside In need your help more than ever. Thank you for helping people like Adrianna!
I didn’t have a stable home. When I hit the streets of Portland, I was 11. I thought I was part of a team. Prostitution was a way to get new shoes. I didn’t know what it was like to be a “normal” teenager, in the chess club, or playing volleyball. Recognizing I was the victim of human trafficking, seeing the trauma, the isolation – that came later.
By the time I was 17, I didn’t trust anybody … except Outside In.
I got into the transitional housing program. I had good, healthy meals every day. The staff helped me with classes, applying for an internship, books, bus passes, even job interview clothes. I accessed every resource available. The people at Outside In reached out to me. They were so welcoming. It was a healing experience.
The staff took my concerns seriously, and took a holistic approach. They protected me. They helped me understand and work with my depression and access drug and alcohol counseling. I had run my health into the ground. They helped me in the clinic and with my medical benefits.
If it had been up to me, I would have just given up. Because of people like you, because of your support of Outside In, I had another chance. I’m thankful that people cared enough about me to pull me out of that time, because I couldn’t pull myself out and I didn’t know where I was going.
I left and came back, and they always held that door open for me. They believed in me. It took me three years to get my GED, but I knew I needed to walk across that graduation stage. I took the exam hours before the ceremony, and I passed it! I never imagined I would go on to college, but they helped me with that, too. In June, I got my degree in social work, and I plan to get a master’s degree.
Now I’m 29. I’ve got secure housing and my 2-year-old daughter, Anna Lisa. I know how to advocate for her. I know what love is. It is not a feeling. It is an action. My baby and me – it is a new chapter in my life.
And I’m excited! In August I got a job with the Department of Human Services as a child permanency specialist, working with African American children. Who better than someone who has been there?
Your gift to Outside In changes lives like mine in so many ways, for so many people, day in, day out. I don’t know where I would be without you. Please give today.