“I have one younger brother and one younger sister. I was eight when I went into foster care. My mom started struggling with meth and a lot of mental illness. She had abusive boyfriends. Drugs were involved. We kept trying to get away from one dude, and we ended up in a women’s shelter. He didn’t know where she was; DHS had to come and get us. We tried treatment, she was asking for more help. They told her she was not fit to be a parent, so my little brother went with his biological dad and my little sister was adopted by a Eugene police officer. DHS gave up on me after eight years.
They lied to me.
They told me I could go home for Christmas, they told me I could write my friends,
listen to my own music, but they lied to me, so I ran away.
I don’t remember a lot of stuff back then. I’m here now for unlawful entry to a motor vehicle. I was on probation for seven months. I wanted to stop. They were goin’ to give me fifty bucks for just one clean UA [urine analysis], but I couldn’t do it. They put me in Bob Baloney ranch in Coose Bay. They lied to me. They told me I could go home for Christmas, they told me I could write my friends, listen to my own music, but they lied to me, so I ran away. I won a poetry contest with my poem, Hell’s Angel. The girl in Hells Angel was my best friend. She got picked up by a pimp who put her to work. She was addicted. He got 121 months for sex trafficking. It should have been life.”
-C.J., age 18, Oak Creek Oregon, Albany, Oregon