There is a woman that walks the streets of Sacramento day and night, one of many, of course. But we seem to cross paths daily. Some days she's very animated, smiling, talking (to no one in particular)and is happy to take a cigarette or cup of coffe. Other days she walks with her head down and moves as if she's got to get to where she's going. Sometimes, rarely, she comes and sits on the steps of the Capitol with us. Never speaking or making eye contact, just sitting. It's getting cold, so at night she wears a paper bag over her head and just has a light sweater. I got a heavy jacket from the Salvation Army and sat it next to her on a bench but only saw it on her one day and now it's gone. Her food comes from the trash cans around the city. One morning we crossed paths at about 4am and she refused the coffee and donut I tried to give her. Once the sun came out I saw her sitting on a bench, clearly trying to warm herself from the cold night. She's now moved to a bench that is close to the street, directly in front of us and continues to sit and just soak in the sun. I no longer offer food to her but watch for when she comes to the trashcan near us and put some in there, knowing she'll get to it. For now, I know she'll get to eat at least once a day and hope that something will come about to change her situation before I'm gone.
I have to wonder how she got where she is. I don't know. What I do know is that today a child will be removed from loving parents and thrown into our foster care system. Most likely, that child will be moved around from home to home for years, never really understanding what is happening. He won't get to see his parents though maybe, after awhile, will get to visit with them in a room supervised by someone to "protect" him from these people that love and care for him. He'll change schools, be treated as a paycheck in some homes, possibly go through unspeakable abuse in them. This is his new life, and he may never fully understand why it is the life he has to lead. When he turns 18 he'll be thrown out on the street, only to be replaced with a younger version of himself.
Years go by, he's in and out of jail, living on the streets in some city trying to survive. He has become the woman that I cross paths with every day.
Check the statistics for what happens to our youth in foster care. This agency that is protecting children doesn't seem to have a very good track record for raising children. Maybe if they quit scooping up as many as possible just to get funding, they could focus on the ones that need it and do a better job. As was pointed out in another post, with the amount of funding that goes into this agency? There's absolutely no reason for these children to end up on the streets.