Wednesday, July 30

Portland, Maine and the Problem of Homeless Youth

Now, for this editorial, I did an undercover operation. On and off for the last year, I've sneaked down to Maine's "real capital" and buried myself under the cover of a teenager kicked out of her home.
I will not deny that more often than not, this was truly the case. My parents and I can't get along; story of the average American teenagers life, right?
Well, it is, folks. A better portion of the teens I encountered in the harbor city are homeless by choice; leaving home simply because their parents do not approve of the lifestyle they choose.
Many are confused about their sexuality, using drugs, or consuming enormous amounts of alcohol, causing a mass falling-out between children and their parents.

Many of these same young people remain on the streets; sleeping underneath bridges, couch-surfacing, and staying in local homeless shelters. Homeless shelters that are infested with fleas and other pestilence, mind you. We are not talking the Ritz-Carlton of homeless shelters. If these kids want that, they get arrested, and live in jail.
Sad as it sounds, this is safer for some, if not most, of these youths.

I am not by any means trying to condone crime in order for these young people to sleep safe.
I am merely hoping for some combination of unconditional love and understanding, that which I doub I will see outside of my own home for some years to come.
My generations children may have more understanding parents, or it may have more concerned parents.
This remains to be seen.
Until that time comes, I will make a case for my generation: understanding, for it will save us all.

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i am young, though every sunrise brings another aching muscle, another sore joint. i am wise, though every mistake holds consequences, and every hurt makes room for emptiness. I will one day rise; face myself, and let knowledge run rampant.