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She’s not in restraints, but jail officials say it’s best to keep a barrier around her, just in case. She’s not the same as she was in 6M1B, they say. And they’re right: She feels abandoned – cast aside.
Through the clear divider, she explains her version of what happened when she was released: She says she waited three hours in the hot sun for a caseworker to meet her with hotel vouchers, but no one came. (The mental health organization she claims was supposed to coordinate her housing declined to confirm whether they worked with her, citing HIPAA.)
So she sat, melting as the temperature hit 99 degrees. She thought about the release plan she’d worked so hard to write, and about the progress she’d made. She thought about how hot it was. She thought about what she would give for a ride in an air-conditioned car.
“Where am I going to stay?” she asked herself.
“It was like, everything was out the door,” Fresch says into the jail phone. “Out the window. Everything went to s—. Because I was pissed, and I was hurt, like ‘Damn. Here I am trying to do the right f—ing thing.’ You know, what’s next?”
“And then this guy picked me up,” she continues. “It was hot. I was sweating like hell. I just wanted to ride around in the AC, and then he was like, ‘Well, do you want to get high?'”
By the end of that first day, she’d smoked crack and turned a trick to make money for a hotel that night.
From there, it was the next car, and the next, she says, her story a haunting echo of Lange’s. For the next three weeks, hopping in and out of cars became a routine. It felt familiar. She could keep a roof over her head.