Sox and empathy: The art of reaching out to homeless youth

Friends of Youth outreach workers log 90 miles a day as they scour the Eastside in search of homeless kids.

(Page 2 of 2)

“Being patient and not judging,” says Amanda, when asked what she’s learned from her time as a street outreach worker.

“Be genuine,” adds Cassie. That entails listening, and treating homeless kids as equals remembering details like their names and their stories. Mostly, says Cassie, being genuine means "you have to actually care."

For more Kids@Risk stories, go here.


Mary Bruno is the Editor-in-Chief of Crosscut.

Allyce is a photojournalist from Lafayette, Louisiana. She currently lives in Seattle.

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Comments:

Posted Tue, Mar 11, 4:38 p.m. Inappropriate

Kudos to Crosscut for publishing this story, especially to Crosscut editors for not deleting the oh-so-telling sentence that begins, "To protect homeless youth from getting rousted by local police..."

The significance of this particular disclosure is it is yet more damning evidence of how the cops -- now fully militarized by an ever-more-vicious Ruling Class – have become an army of occupation, a goon-squad that serves the capitalists by savaging all lower-income peoples regardless of color.

(For a more revealing report on this grim new USian reality, see "Coming Home to Roost: American Militarism, War Culture and Police Brutality," http://www.popularresistance.org/coming-home-to-roost-american-militarism-war-culture-and-police-brutality/ )

That said, big-time kudos also to Mary Bruno and Allyce Andrew for a damn fine job of reporting, and to Cassie Frickelton, Amanda Bevington and everyone else at Friends of Youth for the difficult and challenging work of reaching out to homeless kids.

Indeed, “difficult and challenging” is undoubtedly an understatement.

I know this because during the Occupy Movement I met several newly dispossessed teens – children forever robbed of their childhoods by capitalist greed, their parents flung into permanent joblessness by downsizing and outsourcing and their families then evicted from allegedly “permanent” homes.

Without exception these formerly middle-class kids were the most traumatized, emotionally devastated, bitterly alienated and justifiably angry youngsters I have ever met. What all had in common was a bottomlessly embittered distrust of anyone and anything even remotely associated with the governmental and economic status quo – so much so they should probably be regarded as a uniquely afflicted demographic within the ever-growing proletariat of the capitalists' victims.

Thus the work Frickelton and Bevington are doing is profoundly demanding, much more so than words or pictures – even the great reportage by Bruno and Andrew – could possibly convey.

Posted Sat, Mar 15, 5:49 p.m. Inappropriate

Numbers and demographics and head counts would be welcome additions to the story. Does Obama or Inslee or Constantine get the credit for creating the 6 staff jobs?

animalal

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