really qualify as a runaway. I left my house legally when I was 19 years
old. I traveled via Greyhound to Los Angeles from my home in Detroit.
I left with one friend, well he's barely a friend. I left with him because
I wanted to leave and not to hop into the streets alone. He had an obnoxious
heroin habit that ate probably about $50 from me on our way there. I do
not use drugs, but I can't stand to see people dope sick. We slept in
an alley with the first bunch of punks we met there. My friend from Michigan
ditched me to quench his hunger for his needle. I didn't really mind much.
It put me at less risk for trouble with the cops. I eventually traveled
up to Oregon with these guys and ended coming back when one of our crew
got arrested. We had been staying in a cement bunker and I hadn't been
eating well. I left quite happily with one of the other guys. The remaining
kid ended staying there with his family. I respect his decision but miss
Meanwhile, I went back to LA. I ended up getting in a huge fight with
the guy I came back to LA with. It was a stupid alcoholic fight. I stopped
talking to him and he turned into a crackhead. He won't talk to me now.
I hated seeing the streetkids there turning to drugs. I haven't been much
better- I am an alcoholic, but lately I have been able to control my addictions.
I ended up finally meeting my boyfriend in a squat on Melrose. Everyone
staying at the squat lived a pretty much communist panhandling lifestyle.
I know this sounds silly. Seriously though, we shared everything: the
money that we "spanged," the house we stayed in, the things
we groundscored, food, beer, and anything that got kicked-down to us.
We were a pretty good group of squatters. I was the youngest one there,
but we seriously were like family.
I ended going back to Michigan for Xmas. My boyfriend really encouraged
me to. It was really hard. I thought my parents would find some way to
keep me here. That's not the case though. I have shown them that I am
not on drugs and that I am still quite healthy. It paid off- I am going
back to my street family in two weeks. Coming to Michigan was probably
the hardest thing I could imagine doing. My family still doesn't fully
know why I originally left. They know I was raped by three guys, in fact
their questioning made me basically relive it on Xmas. I spent Xmas crying.
Its okay though. I am strong enough to handle my own tears. It is important
to keep your ties with people. I wanted my parents to have a sound mind,
even if I still can't deal with them very well. Another word of advice,
when you are on the streets NEVER EVER let your addictions take over you
AND NEVER PROSTITUTE yourself. I know it is tempting, but there are always
other ways to make money- cute creative panhandling works, so do shelters
if panhandling doesn't, if you don't have shelters- ask other homeless
people- most of us would be quite generous with food and where to find
assistance. Remember, we are like a family (sort of) and we tend to watch
to Runaway Lives Stories