By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Behind the numbers

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Bill B

"The amount of illegal drugs in McMinnville actually took her by surprise. She expected fewer people would do drugs in a small town compared with an urban area.

“But there’s a lot of drug activity out here,” Ford claimed. “It’s everywhere. In Texas, you don’t see people just pull out drug pipes and smoke, but here, they’ll do it anywhere.”"

Pretty damn sad!


So...she's smarter than all the people in Fayette, Missouri.[?] Dropped out of school. Never had a job. Fell for a liar, sight unseen, on the internet. Ended up in Joe Dancer Park.
Not an asset to anywhere she calls home...or tree.
Wake yourself up, fool.


I trust that Ms. Ford, as smart as she knows she is, has learned some valuable lessons from the many mistakes she has made in her short life, and is preparing diligently to make better choices for herself.


It seems to me that some of the homeless are caught up in generational helplessness....a vicious cycle that is hard to get out of because many just don't know there is something better out there worth working for. It's all they know or have ever known.

I'm at a loss. When we fail to recognize a child that is navigating life without positive role models or safety net...or a child without adequate food or shelter....if we fail to step in and mentor or help guide that kid...we fail society as a whole. When we miss opportunities to intervene early, the job of helping becomes much harder when they are adults. Their mind-set is established, the psychological harm is etched into who they believe they are and the damage is done.


And if we supply the crutch too early, there is little incentive to cast it off anytime soon and learn to walk. With her foolish attitude, a total lack of direction or common sense or, God forbid, a plan for the next few months, she's doomed. School bores her but she's old enough to realize education pays off eventually. Yet she demands everything now. Didn't we all when we were toddlers?


With homelessfolk often uncharitably accused of making stupid choices, it’s refreshing to meet a smart one who knows everything.

Okay, that was a cheap shot.

On a serious note, Mudstump is right — although how much her well-written sentiments apply in this case is impossible to know. While I have much compassion for the near-universal blundering of youth, I have less sympathy for an adult who prizes non-conformity over stability.

Where we went wrong might be evidenced in Savannah Ford’s own words: she “...always wanted to be an actress.” Ford seems to understand that earning a living as an actor might be a far-fetched goal but a bazillion other western kids aren’t so convinced. What was once a lowly profession has risen above all others as a generation of children’s most noble ambition. Who wants to be a scientist, a researcher, a physician, an educator, an astronaut, a leader of nations? No thanks, most modern kids would choose designer clothes and a stage fronting thousands of screaming fans. No boring real job when we can sing and dance and sign autographs!

I realize not all kids subscribe to this fantasy but enough buy in that I worry for our future. As Ford herself demonstrates, little separates the broken dreams of a blind idealist from the stark reality of homelessness.

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