Just a week after so many overdoses in Cincinnati, the search and rescue team went back out on the streets on their usual Tuesday night timeslot. Their first destination was Price Hill where just a week before some of those they reached out to were among those who overdosed but were revived. It was a different kind of night. Many girls were out. Some were talking about the overdoses and you could sense the fear and anguish. We heard that three girls had died. (A) was a user and allowed many of the girls to stay at her place. Another girl, (N), the team met just a few weeks previously. We just reached out to the girl she was with that night and she did not mention her death. She came onto the bus with a different girl.
We were also told that a man had raped 3 girls. He would take them to the cemetery and tell them that if they didn’t do what he said he would kill them. One he threatened with a knife and the other he threatened to do her bodily harm. We were also told a girl’s body was found in a car with her hands and head taped up. There was a note left that said, “Got her!”
With all of these horrific situations going on in the streets, one would think, “Why are these girls still out there?” You would think this would be enough to scare them off the streets and wanting to be clean. Well, in all this sad news there is hope. Most all of the girls this night were very open to prayer. We got the opportunity to love on these girls and show them the love of Jesus Christ. We did hear some good news from two of the girls. (K) has been off the streets for a month and a half. She has a place to live and a boyfriend. She said she is doing well.
(D) had been clean for 17 days. That all happened after her sister who had been clean was shot up with drugs by her boyfriend and she died. (D) was desperate to get clean and turned herself in at the Justice Center for an outstanding warrant. That was her way of getting clean and off the streets. She also told us that her Grandma passed away. Despite all she has been through, she is doing well and told us she still has her apartment but has plans to get a house.
And so, the team keeps going out to reach out to and love on the girls on the streets week after week. Food and drinks are served and clothes/hygiene packets are given out. The bus and what it brings to the ministry is a portable safe haven for these girls to come onto for a moment where they can settle in for a short time and get some things off their chest. It’s a place to get a hug and a prayer from a team who cares so much about them. It’s a place to see the love of Jesus and not be judged like the world does. This ministry is not for the faint at heart. It’s a team that does not give up on the girls but, it continues to give them love in hopes that one day they will want and seek help to get clean and off the streets.