A homeless youth in Alaska is moved to write his story after participating in an event and Do1Thing. Read his moving story and as he says, “You can be a hero…One thing is all is takes.”
Unfounded Family by GM
Seventeen-years old, cold and hungry, with a will power feeding from rage and depression. A loving family lost at an early age has resulted in what I refer to as the ‘unwritten law’, that of the street family. Consisting of friends, siblings, and enemies that have come together to create an unfounded family. Without the bounds of normal parental discipline, they are left to fight for their rights, tooth and claw…
This story is not as uncommon as we are led to believe. Walk down the street in any populated area in this state and look closely at the youth of the area. The frayed clothing, fresh scars and impaired smiles accompanied by uninhibited laughter. It’s normal, yes, but their laughter is bellied by the strength of their control that hides their pain.
These kids, these teens we see as delinquents. They are much more than they seems. They are the martyrs of a dysfunctional society, the direct result of an unseen force which draws them together. That force has been called many things. I have named it “The Needless Desire”. Poetic it is, as is the irony that has placed these kids in the hard situations they have overcome. Each one has a stronger heart and soul than you could ever imagine. They deal with death and starvation coupled with depression and sickness. They do this on a daily basis.
All is takes it one thing…that’s all we ask. One action that helps a single light in the darkness develop into a burning sun to brighten their everyday lives. Some think that these kids put themselves into the situation they live in. They are right about a few of them, but the majority of these teens come from broken homes and run to street families to seek acceptance in any form. These searches result in tent camps, street gangs, and even in structured Mafioso-like regiments of disciplined kids who organize themselves into a loving family.
They are sometimes involved with drugs and other miscellaneous and mischievous criminal activities. Still more than half are involved with community events, school and work. By keeping themselves busy, they’ve found an escape from the dreary nights in shacks and shelters. Many become those delinquents I mentioned, but that’s because they have no structure with which to balance the anger and disappointment they feel. I am one such teen…Shocking, isn’t it?
I found a release. I began by seeking revenge on the system and found myself lacking the disposition to do so. I have been to the darkest recesses of my own mind, only to discover I needed one thing. I had to rid myself of “The Needless Desire”, for disruption and destruction, for conflict and confrontation. By accepting the open-armed embrace of Covenant House, I found myself. I found help…I found the one thing I required. By helping these teens like me, by doing that one thing, you may push these teens to doing for themselves what the world couldn’t.
Please, do one thing. Whether it be volunteering, donating or even spending time with a troubled teen you know. You can experience the satisfaction of knowing you have saved a lost soul from self destruction. You can be a hero…One thing is all is takes.”
Homeless youth from Covenant House in Alaska take part in a parade and wear Do1Thing t-shirts encouraging everyone to get involved and Do1Thing.