By: Tracy Madlener
I lived on my own at the age of fourteen. Then again at fifteen, and one more time, this time, permanently at seventeen. I’m sure you’re wondering how that can be? Well, my mom remarried someone that I did not get along with, she had my little brother with this new man and decided to choose her new family and leave the old to fend for herself.
This is not a story about how I could have been another homeless youth statistic. This is not a tale about finding the next place to sleep or where the next meal was coming from. This is about that kid from 30 years ago and where she is now. This is about hope.
I never gave up the dream of living in my own house with a white picket fence. I didn’t want to believe that this daily unknowing feeling of being lost was my life. This was not how the princess in the fairy tale ended up, and I believed I was the princess so I wasn’t about to give up on my life without a fight. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was the only one that can become who I wanted to be.
Knowing that little piece of information kept me moving forward and I never looked back, even when I wasn’t sure where I would lay my head down at the end of the day. Being homeless as a teen when all your friends had a home was a very somber feeling. But I was never bitter, I was grateful when my best friend would steal food from her dad’s restaurant to feed me. I was grateful when the cashier at the shop I worked at took me in to live with her for a few weeks. I never forgot the many people who would come into my life like an angel and place before me my next stepping stone to reach my destination.
As I read the statistics and watch the videos of these kids with no homes, no family support and no one to turn to, I am reminded of my own situation from a past that even today, the mental scars still hang on. Am I good enough? Do they like me? Will I be accepted? Did I do the right thing? Those who have met me would never know the insecurities I feel as I never let on. I never show fear so that I look strong, even when I feel weak. Now that I think about it, that attitude helped me to survive, to become who I am today. I am not afraid.
Please, do whatever you can to help these Homeless children. We cannot end homelessness or runaways, but we can make sure that when such things occur, there is support to help them back up on their feet so that they don’t become a negative statistic. Spicie has partnered with Black Iron Kisses during Homeless Youth Awareness Month to help spread the word about not only this issue but S.P.Y. (Safe Place for Youth) in Venice Beach, CA, which helps provide assistance to some of the 15,000 plus homeless youth in the Los Angeles area.
Thank you for your time and any assistance you provide to this or any other homeless youth program.
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