Birth of son helped stop woman’s downward spiral

February 15th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Camryn Ramirez named her baby Xaviour – pronounced “savior” – because she believed he was that for her.

When she was pregnant with him, she was living in a Tacoma trailer park with her drug-seller boyfriend, who as a prospective father had one standard he would not bend.

“He wouldn’t give me crack because I was pregnant,” she said, “but he was selling it 5 feet from me.”

Ramirez was 34 years old, and her past was wreckage. She’d left school in sixth grade, got pregnant at 13 and spent most of the next 20 years high on whatever was available – marijuana, meth, crack cocaine.

She’d walked out of a marriage, leaving two sons. She’d had a daughter taken away by Child Protective Services and, at one low point, sold crack on the streets of Tacoma with the son she’d had at 14.

Three things stopped her downward spiral, and the first was Xaviour. The second was a Puyallup man trying to help. The third was Bates College.

“There was a man, David Steger from the Foursquare Church in Puyallup, who brought bag lunches to the trailer park and offered to take you to the church on Sunday,” she said. “I started going. The church was a loving place.”

Steger founded Matthew 25 Outreach, bought a 15-passenger van and made those bag lunches, stopping by low-rent motels, trailer parks and places where he could find the homeless.

He remembered Ramirez.

“I saw her at her worst, when she was still hooked on drugs,” Steger said. “Getting her

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