- “Getting to see the youth in a positive setting. You usually only hear about homeless people negatively.”
- “Just getting to talk to them about stuff they like.”
What bothered you?
- “Some of them really talk mean to some of the other street kids.”
- “I saw a fresh tattoo on one and a pack of cigarettes on another. Seems like they could spend their money differently.”
Do you have other questions?
- “I heard a lot of stories. I started to wonder if they were telling me the truth or what they wanted me to hear to get what they wanted.”
This is a great observation. Don’t we all make up certain things about our lives and tell little fibs? Haven’t we at some time or another made a more elaborate web of lies to protect something we’re ashamed of or afraid of? Street kids are no different. They do sometimes tell elaborate lies. I always accept those initially. I never challenge them. If I begin to question certain parts, it may cause great damage. Sort of like tugging at a loose thread on a dress jacket sleeve. Suddenly the jacket may completely fall apart. I am strongly interested in the truth, but I want to help the youth get to the truth with the appropriate love and support systems. The street offers little in the way of support so it’s not a good place to begin to deconstruct the elaborate shells of protection that some youth have build around them.
- “Why don’t the churches down here hire the youth to do odd jobs. I know my church has all kinds of jobs to do.”