Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Life On The Street and I have my own gang and we are always looking for new members. I do not want to be your friend, I just want you to be free to do whatever it is you choose no matter what that entails, or who it affects. I want you to join me in a freedom unrestricted by what others feel is right, or normal. We ask no one to care about us, because if they care for us they will want us to care in return and we will be too busy being free. You will only need to do the things that you want and enjoy. In my house the only pressure you will feel is the pressure you put on yourself. If you are having problems at home come live with me and those problems will disappear. Rather work than go to school I can find you work that does not require a high schoolleaving. Like to do drugs but are getting into trouble when you light up, no such problem in my house. If you are having problems getting laid, I can fix that too. I am the answer to all of these problems with your home life and more, but first you must come over to my side and join the gang. I do not ask much accept that you help others the way I am helping you. Show them the way to freedom and help our numbers grow.
With me you will find no age requirements, no safe sex rules, no prejudice, no religion, no upper, middle, or lower classes; here you will only find people like you , or at various stages of being like you, or you like them. Here you will experience what true freedom is. We do not guarantee that this will get you a job, a happy family life, or even a nice home, our only guarantee is that you will be free to do whatever your little heart desires, no matter where that path of freedom leads you. There are no doors, no alarm clocks and no security to pass through; here on the street with me you are totally free to come and go as you like. I will never put you out, tell you how bad you are, or that what you are doing is wrong, because when you come to live with me you are free.
When you are cold and hungry do not look to me; I am not your Mommy, or your Daddy. When you are a baby having a baby and they take it from you, or it is born as hooked on drugs as you; I will not be there to comfort you, because you knew exactly what you were doing to that baby, but you just had to be free. When you are strung out on drugs and you need a fix; do not look to me, I am not some one who loves you. If you sell drugs, become a thief and end up in jail I will not visit, or care how you are doing, you made your choices freely and now must pay your due. If you end up selling your body for money, or drugs you will probably end up with a sexually transmitted disease, or aids, or dead and I will not even shed a tear, because you will be just one of many, who live and die in my house free to do what they like, when they like and how they like. When you lose your job because you are partying all night and get kicked out of your apartment and are forced to live on the street; I will tell you welcome home, you have made it, there is no further you can go.
Why are you so sad, is freedom not what you expected? Did you not want to be out from under your parent’s smothering ways. Did you not say that you did not want to go to school that the other kids hated you and the teachers and principal picked on you and you just wanted to be free of the pressures of school? Did I not keep my promise and help you find other people like you to have sex with, that wanted nothing more out of it than to have a good time. Let us not forget the drugs and alcohol that was there for the taking and no adult to stop you from getting smashed whenever you chose. I will ask you again, if this was not what you chose to do? Is this not what you wanted? What did you think that life on the street would be like and what is it that you want now?
Oh I see you want what they have, the nice car the house, the happy kids. The people who stayed at home, went to school and became doctors, professionals and tradesmen. You made a mistake choosing freedom over sacrifice and hard work, but you are feeling trapped and without hope. Well the good news is that it is never too late, because there are no doors no security and you are free to come and go as you see fit. There are no rules no curfews and you have really made no friends, other than some crabs in the bucket and the choice to stay, or go is still yours. the choice to live, or survive is still yours, but for now you no longer belong here with me, so go home, get back in school and learn what it is, to truly be free. Freedom without purpose, love and someone to share it with is a lonely meaningless place and not much fun after all. The name of the gang is called, The Losers and we will be here if you decide that you want to be free again. I do not mean to be nasty, or rude, but I hope I never see you again.
If you think all street life is not bad and that the people are all having a great time doing what they choose to do, look a little closer and you will see the reality of street life. The forced smile, the laughter that is just not right and the tears just beyond the wink. You may just get a look at the desperation and the fear that lurks just below the surface of a trapped youth, whose family has given up on them and feels they have no way out. This is the real street life that leads to life on the street for too many of our youth.
It is to the troubled youth, with no fear of the streets, that I speak of in this post. The troubled youth like I was, who joined Life On The Street and almost ended up homeless and on the street for life. It is to the parents who gave up on their children that I address this post to. Finally and mostly it is to the parents that have not given up and continue to fight for their children’s lives that I speak to and say never give up. Your children no not of what lies ahead for them and will not until they hit the bottom, but if you hang in there, they may make it out alive with only a few scars and some wild stories to tell their children and grandchildren.
- A Teen Girl’s Life on the Street (abcnews.go.com)