Friday, February 5, 2010

Miami Human Trafficking Outreach Day2

9:55 AM
As we turned around 3:30am after a late night on the streets and a short night's sleep on a gym, Thursday morning did not come easily! Thankfully, it was an “easy” day. Because our outreach would be mainly at night again, we decided to use the day to see some more of Miami!

So we started our day looking for a Panera for breakfast, but after a GPS fail, we found a cute local bakery & deli. So after a delicious breakfast, we set off to exploring the city. And that almost stopped before it began. We drove aimlessly looking for an outdoor shopping center. Never found that. As four girls, we decided to find a mall, and what sounds more exciting than the Mall of the Americas. Well, it probably should have been called the Mall of the Ghetto. So we didn't stay too long there. After more aimless driving, we were really stuck for something fun [and affordable] to do! A brief nap time rejuvenated us and we set off for South Beach again! It was much busier on Thursday, as it was now one day closer to the Super Bowl. We walked Ocean Drive, enjoyed coffee at the News Cafe, and shopped along Lincoln Ave. Celeb sighting of the day: Jack Nicholson! He was strolling along Ocean Drive and heading towards a popular local club. Ocean had been closed to traffic and the streets were packed with some crazy football fans!

Thursday night, we reassigned our groups and went back to the streets for more night surveillance. My group was assigned to some the roughest and poorest streets in Miami. Thankfully, my group also contained 2 guys to keep me safe! So as we drove around, looking for underage girls to approach with our hotline cards, we were surprised at the lack of activity on the road. Finally we reached a hotel known for its shady activities. As 2 members went into the hotel to talk to staff, myself and another guy waited in the car to keep watch for suspicious actions. The most fruitful part of the hotel stop was a long conversation with the hotel security guard. She had been working there for years, and had seen a lot in that time, working those overnights. She gave us a very specific description of a possible pimp that we called in for further follow-up. The rest of the night was spent driving by strip clubs and keeping watch for any indicators. While our group didn't see a lot of action, other groups did. One particular “hot” part of town had 10 – 12 girls approached and given our hotline cards.

So while it was an earlier night, we still didn't get until 2am. Another night on the gym floor and ready for Day 3 tomorrow: day street canvassing! So check out these pics from Thursday and stay tuned!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!