Jane was found by customers and volunteers sleeping on a couch in the Thrift Store right after the store opened at 10AM. People were concerned, and we were asked to assist. After carefully waking Jane (she was disoriented and afraid), she and our staff member chatted about her choice of sleeping spots. Here’s her story… She just needed a place to rest/sleep for a while. Every time she tried to sleep outside, she was awakened and threatened with police action. She said that she was so tired and hadn’t slept in days because she was so scared. We took her over to the Food Bank and created a nest for her upstairs so she could get some much needed sleep. The Food Bank was very busy with volunteer activity and everyone knew that she was there sleeping. Thrift Store volunteers were celebrating a birthday and shared homemade soup, pasta and bread with Jane. She inhaled the food then promptly fell asleep.
After 5 hours, Jane woke up and we had the opportunity to get “the rest of her story”. She was living on the streets in Seattle but became frightened of the many homeless and violent men she encountered. She made her way up to Stanwood, where she was raised. She was hoping to connect with some family or friends in the area. She hadn’t been successful reaching anyone yet. She was very polite, coherent and engaging this entire time. Several volunteers appeared around 4PM and everyone got involved in the “Jane Project”. Pat R, Gaylen and Mary jumped into action. Pat found a backpack as well as duffle bag for a sleeping bag, mat and food items that we assembled for Jane. Mary and Gaylen helped shop along with Caryl from the Thrift Store (Jane wasn’t wearing any socks and her feet were cold). She shook the hand of each person who was helping her and thanked them.
End of the Story: Why did Jane choose the Thrift Store for safety and warmth? Jane’s great great auntie was Jeanie Ovenell. She knew that people would help her, and she’d be safe if she could just get to the Thrift Store. After her rest, Gaylen drove her to the Resource Center for assistance. We hope that Jane is doing better and is off the streets.