Sunday, November 25, 2007

Drugs everywhere

On the first day I moved in this building I met a man who lives on my floor. I was anxious to talk to anyone that could ease my transition from one place in hell, to another place in hell.

I have watched this man change over a period of time. He has lost weight and his features have been changing. I had not seen him for a couple of days until this morning. He looks 20 times worse than he did two days ago. His face is sunk in and he lacks steadiness in his bearing.

The man is obviously increasing the amount of drugs he has been consuming. I believe he is the one who stole my phone. He is always in the room where I was when it was stolen. Many other people are smoking in this building. I know that management is going to do something about it. I was told that something was going to be done. I wish it would happen soon.

Each drug user is different. However when one lives in an environment where drugs are done alot and no one has money to do drugs, you have to worry about theft. We are not in Beverly Hills. Drugs are consumed there as well. The general profile is different. I hate profiles but the one thing that is true about drugs is that you need money to do them. Having money means certain types of behavior is not done. If money is lacking in the environment in which one is and the people are doing drugs in the environment, it is a safe bet that theft is going to happen.

It is happening in this building. Furthermore, a person knocked on my door, who is not a resident in my building. He asked me if I had drugs and if I did could he smoke with me.

Dam, I have to be around this activity?

This kind of activity occurs in every building in Skid Row. This building will clean out the drug users. It is a sober living facility. Therefore, people that live in here agreed to certain things. No drugs or alcohol is part of the agreement to be able to live here. They will test you randomly if you appear to be breaking the rules.

If there are drugs in this building, then you can bet that drug usage is rampant in buildings that are not sober living facilities. The $4 dollar guest fee that one must pay to visit or to have a visitor only hurts those that abide by the rules and do not do drugs. The drug users do not follow the rules. They have visitors all of the time in SRO type buildings and ignore the sign in rules. Some managers are great. Our manager is great. That is why I know the violators

of the rules, in this building, will be out of here. Our manager is so good that he does not allow loitering outside of the building.Why? He told me that,for some people, a crowd of people can act as a trigger and therefore he makes sure that everyone in his building can be as potentialy trigger free as can be. A trigger is something that can spark the usage of drugs.

The $4 dollar fee in Skid Row, designed to keep drug users out of buildings and separated from other users at night hurts innocent people. For instance, Garza is coming back in a few days.

We are trying to get a project off of the ground. Hopefully, this project will end up be a profitable venture. However, after 5 o'clock we can not meet at either his place or mine unless we pay 5 dollars. We do not have that kind of money to spend.

The housing rules in Skid Row are not "friendship" friendly. At first, I thought the 5 dollar fee was, maybe, effective. I thought it kept drugs out. But it is not. Drugs are everywhere. If you are not living in a sober living building there is really nothing that a person can do about it.

Those are the buildings where you can live much cheaper than this one, but you have no chance of keeping the drugs out.

The drugs are in the missions as well. Some of the employees even sell drugs. I am sure the executives do not know about this. But the executives are not in touch with the people on the street. The lower level employees are the ones who have contact. Drugs are everywhere.

One man told me this,"Walter, why should I purchase drugs on the street. That is stupid.

I can go into any of these missions as of one month ago and purchase any drug I want. I know because I have been doing it for years. I stopped doing drugs last month. I hope I stay off drugs. But the fact is only the stupid ones purchase drugs in the streets. The ones that are smart purchase drugs in the hotel buildings or the missions. The missions never run out of drugs because it is a safe place to store drugs if no one is keeping an eye on the seller. "

Low level employees will work through one person, many times. That person is able to come back and forth without notice. The seller would otherwise develop too much traffic in the facility. It is quiet and safe. He does not have to hold the drugs on his person and has much deniability. People who relapse, who want to keep it quiet, purchase drugs inside the missions.

If they have been around a long time they know that counselors and program directors drive around the outdoor drug hotspots to see if anyone from their program is out there.
There was a long time employee of a program who had been suspected of using drugs. One day she was spotted purchasing heroin outside out a park. She no longer is employed.

"walter, it is a scandalous world out here on Skid Row. For some one who is not naive, you sure are naive. I guress you really are a nerd. I remember the first time you found out people were doing drugs when we were at the T House. You were hurt. You see, walter, you quit drugs before you came down here. You did not have the drug perspective when you came down here.
You were funny. You thought every one wanted to improve their lives. But it is not true, walter. You have to realize that the veterans know that the best place to purchase drugs are the missions. All they need is one or two of the employees who work with the shelter clients. Just one. IF they find that one, then they will find the drugs. Even if no one starts out selling drugs, the money is too tempting for most. They fall prey to temptation. What better place to sell drugs than a place full of drug addicts who can sleep and wake up and have drugs there.
They do not have to go anywhere to buy drugs. The sellers do not have to risk being outside."

That was Gabrielle who said that. She is a veteran of these programs. She is clean and she was able to land a job in the Mid Wilshire area.

"The drugs are no longer in the streets. The drugs are sold in the big buildings down here. The Hotels, they are like being in the streets. Everyone knows to stay away from those places. You might as well buy drugs on the street. Buying inside, in a protected environment is the thing now. It is sick. No one nows what is going on down here. IT is just scandalous and you know I know. I saw a dealer the other day. He just got kicked out of one place. He is going back to a place where he was kicked out a month ago. The dealers are returning to places like the drug smokers used to do. Does that make any since to you? They get kicked out for selling drugs. They are able to return a month later, just like the drug users. They kick somebody down a few dollars and that is that. What they say is happening is not really happening down here.
IT is all a smoke screen. They want to keep in business. that is why they do not look too hard for the drugs. They need the business."

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