IMPACT IN THE COMMUNITY
Public Safety Chaplaincy's Community Assistance fund has been used to support a number of families in the local community. Below are only a few of the many stories about the impact PSC has had in the Northwest Oregon area.
Shoes Instead of Plastic Bags
It was pouring rain outside. We were on patrol behind a local shopping mall when I could see that someone had leaned a wooden pallet up against the back door of one of the stores. I mentioned to the patrol officer that it looked like a child’s car seat behind it, but I wasn’t sure. With a closer look we determined there was a person huddled up asleep or passed out behind the pallet. As we exited the patrol vehicle the officer walked closer to get a better look. He walked quietly but closely, trying to determine who this was and were they armed. He got just a couple of feet from them without waking them up. Whoever this was, they were deeply asleep or drugged up to a level where they were not alert to their surroundings. The officer gently nudged the person and said, “Beaverton Police, are you alright?” Their hands slipped down in front of their huddled up body exposing a young woman’s face. It was pale and the only distinguishing feature was a long trail of black mascara that had been disturbed by her tears. As the officer tried to get some information from her, she uncoiled from her huddled position and I could see she had two small garbage bags tied tightly to her feet to keep her socks dry. She told us that she had fallen asleep on the MAX train and woke up in Beaverton. Neither of us had seen her before. She wasn’t familiar with our area and looked fearful. I asked her if I could give her a Goodwill gift card for fifteen dollars so she could get herself some real shoes. She was greatly appreciative, and then I gave her a McDonalds gift card to provide her with some food. Not every transient in our city is worthy of these gifts because most are here to use drugs without the fear of accountability and they are just selling or stealing whatever they can, not for housing, food, shoes or to make their lives better, but for their next “fix.” But she was different, she didn’t look like a drug addict but appeared to be a victim of bad circumstances and poor choices. I gave her the cards along with directions and she started on her way to a nearby Goodwill. She stopped, looked back at me with tears in her eyes, and thanked me for my generosity. I leaned in toward her and reminded her that there is always hope!
Our encounter with her reminds me of how Jesus tries to help us when we are lost, runaway, confused, and not prepared for where our lives have led us, sometimes hiding from the very one who might be able to help us. Jesus shows up at our worst moments with a reminder that he loves us and cares for us. He then provides us with the means and steps to move in a new direction if we choose to receive it.
Beaverton PD Chaplain
Tonight we were dispatched to a suicide threat outside of the bottle drop. The 29-year-old male had been hitting himself and saying he had a gun and was going to shoot himself. We made contact with him, he did not have a gun, and said he was not suicidal but was upset. He recently became homeless, had no money, was hungry, and today was his birthday. I gave him a $50 Visa gift card from the chaplain fund, as well as a blanket, hand warmer, and water.
Milwaukee PD Chaplain
A Place to Rest
I wanted to let you know that I used some gift cards last night on an apartment fire. The two occupants could not occupy their apartment after the fire.
We were able to get them into a hotel (with the help of the Red Cross) and used our funds to get them fed and in a place where they could get some clothes.
Chaplain Hillsboro Fire & Police
PUBLIC SAFETY CHAPLAINCY
1500 NW 167th Place Beaverton, OR 97006