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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Street Kids of San Francisco

We have been enjoying one of the most vibrant citiies in the country for the last week--San Francisco.  Unfortunately you don't have to look too far to see the flip side of this city.

We were eating in a well know pizza place in San Francisco today when two young boys walked in and talked to the bartender. They looked about 10 or 11.  I heard him ask what they wanted and they asked if they could have a whole pizza.  He called over one of the servers and told him something.  The bartender looked at me and said, "street kids."  He indicated he knew the kids well.  15 minutes later a pizza came out in a box and off the kids went.  All so matter of fact. 

San Francisco is the West Coast haven for runaways or in some cases "throw aways."  The Haight Ashbury section catches many of these kids but you can see them sleeping on the streets in the financial district of the city too.  Guess the kids today still think the "Summer of Love" is still on. We are used to seeing homeless adults in Baltimore and DC but it is always a little jarring to see young kids on the streets of a city.

In Maryland we have some of the same thing happening in the summer with the runaways heading to Ocean City to hang out. Crisis centers in Ocean City always have their hands full in the summer with young runaways.  Homeless at the beach beats being homeless in other places.

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