June 2010

Helping Those In Need

June 2010
By Ranj Dhaliwal

A few months ago I received a call from one of my best friends. She asked me if I could do her friend a favor and help her find her daughter for her. Of course, my reply was, “I’m not a private investigator.” She continued and told me that her friend’s 17 year old daughter met a man in his early 20s and she hasn’t been heard from for a few days. Of course, I asked if they reported it to the police, and I was told that she wasn’t considered missing because the 17 year old had tried applying for social assistance and had been seen in public.

After listening to the story I decided to call a few friends of mine that know quite a few people in the Central City skytrain station area. One of my friends SMS’d me back with the name of the man the 17 year old is seeing and where he hangs out. I was also informed that he is a low level dealer in the area. Well, of course, now I’m thinking that this may be a problem, but since I only live a few blocks from Central, I made myself available to assist. So, there’s me and three females in my truck driving around seeing if we spot her. We went to Central and got out on foot asking around to see if anyone had seen her. While doing this, a young South Asian female approached us and told us about her past. I guess she just needed someone to talk to. I got the gist of her short story and it is a horrible one of a young girl that started out drinking and partying then moved on to marijuana and harder drugs. She became an addict and wound up on the streets as a prostitute. Needless to say, she wanted to help as much as she could, but since we didn’t know her I wasn’t going to take a chance in having her tag along. She was helpful and introduced us to someone that had seen the 17 year old at Holland Park. We went to Holland Park.

Upon arriving at Surrey Central’s newly upgraded Holland Park at 1:00 AM, we were shocked to find dozens of teenagers walking around openly drinking and socializing. We were told that the police don’t regularly come out there, and as long as these kids stayed out of the public’s eye at Central City skyktrain station that the police wouldn’t bother them there. Problem with cell phones is that word travels fast. The kids at Central had given a head’s up to the 17 year old’s boyfriend and the two of them split.

On my way to another location, I received an SMS from a friend who gave me the residential address of the boyfriend. I advised the mother that this is where I end the search and where she needs to do what she needs to do. Getting involved in someone’s family problems is a sure way to have unnecessary drama and conflict, but going to a known drug dealer’s house isn’t the smartest thing to do either and could become dangerous. I advised her that she may want to notify the authorities that she was going to go there, but I suggested going during the daylight hours because there is less of a chance that those inside the residence will be intoxicated during the day.

All in all, it was another experience that I add to the many odd calls I get to help get our youth off the streets. I spoke to a female friend of mine that deals with at-risk female youth about the South Asian girl and she told me that she had met her previously and the girl has slowly gotten off of drugs and is back on the right path again. We can try to offer help, but these youth need to want to be helped to get help.

Oh, as for the 17 year old and her mother, they are back in regular contact and they are working their differences out. We’re lucky that the mother and daughter had a strong relationship before it got to this point or we don’t know if we could have assisted the 17 year old out at all. It would have been sad to hear that the 17 year old took the path of the South Asian girl. Look at this family … miracles do happen. We all need to do our part in making society a better place. Let’s help those that are in need.

Until next time …