The dilemma of the "street kid" - Based on my own experiences with kids "in time of need" can be a tough one.
Setting out to help & gaining the trust of a young fellow such as you briefly described is often times a very long & frustrating task. It will take "unconditional caring & commitment" for the long haul if there is any possibility of his life taking a turn to work in his favor.
If what he disclosed to you is even remotely true, he may be in need of a "trust buddy" and is surely in need of good in depth growth therapy and guided direction.
Most often kids in this type of arena are "street wise" more than the average adult could ever dream possible. They have the survival techniques of "jungle warfare" and will often times do and say whatever it takes to get them what they want - which is not necessarily what they need...
If you would like to invest some time calling the (menu, press this #, hold & we'll be right with you) & in service help community I would suggest starting with the Salvation Army on SI - they usually are a great resource of information. In the case of this young fellow being over 18 (so he says) the S.A. may even take him into their "hands of lifes recovery". But only if he is willing to follow their "house rules of participation". They have good help programs available that the general public is not often aware of.
The next place I would suggest you call is Covenant House. If you have the slightest thought of being supportive of him as his "trust buddy" by visiting & keeping in touch with this youth I would suggest the one in Newark only because access from Staten Island is much easier than the one in NYC.
Check with St. Margart Mary's - from what I've been told they lend the hall to support groups.
Any local Narcotics or AL-Anon (for Families & Friends) Anonymous Group (you don't have to be related just in need of suggestion support) would most likely have some good solid suggestions & information. They may even be willing to set up and Intervention and Re-Connection with his family & law enforcement authorities. I've seen this done by them here in Broward County, Fla. without causing the threat nor fear and being whisked away to be "caged" yet supporting of the fact that he/she would have to face his/her obligations to the people, law/s he/she has offended.
Quoted from Covenant House N.J. - author unknown
"He is a shadow -- by day another
street kid to be ignored, by night
roaming the streets of a city that closes
at 6 p.m. He is a victim of a family, a
school system and a society that has
abandoned him to fend for himself.
Fleeing an abusive home for a life
defined by daily struggles for food and
shelter, he trusts no one. He is tough
because the streets have made him
tough, yet he is a child. Legally he
can't vote. He is feared because of the
apathy to his existence, and because
he is relegated by others to a life of
loneliness and poverty."
He is wanted, welcome and he will be
loved at Covenant House.
Covenant House Main:
Covenant House New York City, N.Y.:
Covenant House - Newark, New Jersey:
An Informative site for Parents/Guardians an "trust buddies" to get some good insite to a possible "hoodlums" needs"
One of the reasons I suggest Covenant House is because as far as I know they still take in youths uP to 21 years of age.
You do have to be a bit cautious - If what he says is true about his encounter with the law don't get yourself wrapped uP in harboring a fugitive - be empathetic in your helping of this youth and keep your sympathy safely out of sight.
Do I think this young fellow is it worth your effort?
I have a bunch of cards, pictures and notes from 4 former "street wise kids" - who for one reason or another needed a "trust buddy" and I was in the right place in time to help and did what I could.
One fellow who keeps in touch is from when I worked at "The Mt." The brother & sister are both happily married to fine individuals, living in Ohio and proudly raising families of their own. The fourth youth grew to outstanding accomplishment in adulthood but sadly lost his battle with cancer and passed on in early 1998...
There were several others whose "street path" I was able to interrupt for a period of time...after much effort "Tuff Love" became the choice of helping so I had to "Let go & let God" knowing that they now have a foundation & "the tools" for a good life if they ever choose to build a better life for themselves - it's uP to them.
Were they all worth the time and effort I invested? "U" bet they were :)
BP May The Wings Of An Angel Be With "U"
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