EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene Police Department is recognizing one of its downtown officers for helping a young woman escape a life on the streets.
According to Eugene police, downtown officer Allison Jordan was flagged down on January 14 and told of a 19-year-old woman in distress at the LTD Market Station. Officer Jordan found the young woman, identified by EPD only as “Abby,” and got her story. Abby told Officer Jordan that she had been taken to Eugene by people she thought to be friends, who then abandoned her in town without a vehicle, money, or a phone. EPD said Abby, who only had a purse and a small bag and appeared disheveled, told Officer Jordan that she had never been arrested before, had never slept on the street, and did not want to be out on the street after struggling to find a safe place to rest at a local shelter. EPD said Officer Jordan saw an opportunity to motivate Abby to escape life on the streets.
Abby told Officer Jordan that she was originally from a community on the Oregon Coast. Abby said that when her family had been pushed to their wits end by her habitual drug use, they asked her to leave home. Despite this, Officer Jordan encouraged Abby to call her mother. Abby eventually gave her mother’s number to Officer Jordan, who called Abby’s mother and spoke to her and her grandmother. According to EPD, both Abby’s mother and grandmother were concerned for her safety and wellbeing and made a plan to purchase bus tickets to get Abby back home, on the condition that she check in to in-patient treatment once she arrived.
Abby agreed, saying she wanted to go home and to stop using drugs. Abby told Officer Jordan her alleged “friends” had pressured her into using cocaine, and then methamphetamine. Abby told Officer Jordan she had seen many unhoused people struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders, and desperately wished to avoid ending up like them.
Officer Jordan took Abby to the bus stop and saw her off on her journey back home. EPD said that just a few days later, Abby’s mother emailed Officer Jordan to say that her daughter had made it home and checked into in-patient treatment. Abby’s mother thanked Officer Jordan for her help in getting Abby a new start.