Family Ties, pt. 2

Its me again. I was the girl who wrote "Family Ties." I thought I could have some more useful insights for runaways.

Since I went back to Hollywood after Christmas, a lot of things have changed. My old squat was busted and many of the people my boyfriend and I had stayed with disapeared without a trace. I really miss the old family. Most of the old squats in Hollywood have been busted, so all the kids are living wherever they can outdoors. There has also been an influx of new kids into town. The town is getting more and more crowded everyday. Panhandling has gone to hell and many of us have been forced to leave Hollywood. When all these things go wrong, drug promblems with street kids multiply. I saw more friends all doped up, stoned, tweeking and cracked out. I want kids to realize that if you are on the streets for any long period of time, it does get rotten.

I also would like to make a note to ALL GIRLS on the streets. Get on some form of birth control. I would recommend the Depo shot because you don't have to worry about taking pills at the same time every day. I am so sick of seeing girls that are pregnant on the streets. It is not fair to your child. If you become pregnant and you are homeless, either go to a relative's house or get in a pregnant girl shelter. If you do chose to stay pregnant while on the streets, at least check out a free health clinic. They are all over the place and they can offer you prenatal care. This last time I was out on the streets my boyfriend and I were taking care of a pregnant girl. She told us that she was 18, but it was obvious she was around 16. We were teaching her how to panhandle, get free food, gave her clothing and even money to buy new shoes. She disappeared. I don't know if she is dead, in jail, or back with her parents. All I know is that the responsibilities of being on the street and pregnant are too great. Its unfair to your unborn child. The one thing I tell pregnant runaways is that the streets will always be here. Don't risk a child's life for your adventure.

I would also like to address any young girls (16 and under) who want to run away. Please don't. I was taking care of three girls this age. They were very grateful to me for being a surrogate mom, but it puts many risks on the people you are staying with. If I had been with these girls and the cops rolled up, I could be charged with contributing to the deliquincy of a minor. Now I love these girls that I took care of and I couldn't stand seeing them fall into the wrong crowd, so of course I cared for them. It just puts older kids at risk for hanging around or caring for the youngings. Its really, really rough on the streets after a few months. I have seen many young girls become alcoholics, druggies and prostitutes before they turn 17. When you are that young, it is impossible for you to even do temp labor if panhandling goes to hell. You can't even legally rent a hotel room if it rains. It seriously makes life alot harder for the young kids out there. You will also attract more perverts. Its alot harder for young kids to get by safely.

I am done preaching. I'll get off my pulpit. In a few months I am planning to get an apartment with my boyfriend. I hopefully can stay off the streets. Right now I am back at my parent's house trying to find a job. Its tough (they want me in counseling) and irritating (nobody wants to hire me). I know, that if my boyfriend and I eventually get an apartment together, it will be well worth it.

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