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Street Kids and Dogs

Can homeless street kids provide proper care for a dog if they must first struggle to care for themselves?
It's a common sight on the streets of downtown Portland and especially on the bus malls: groups of street kids with one or two dogs in tow, sprawled against a wall or on benches, hanging out with each other of hitting commuters for change. Who knows their reasons for being in the position they are in . . . choice . . . eviction . . . abuse at home? They manage because they are young and resilient, not yet having to worry about life-threatening health problems, caring for a family, paying for a house or car, or the other many duties of a mainstream lifestyle. I like to think that many of these kids will land on their feet; they are survivors. However, when they adopt an animal, can they meet the responsibilities of providing proper exercise, innoculations, licensing, and health care for this creature that depends upon them for its mental and physical wellbeing? Maybe so, probably not. I wonder how many of these "mascots" are abandoned when they become ill or inconvenient.

It's not healthy or natural for a dog to be forced to sit in the hot sun on the sidewalk of a bus mall for hours at a time or to be fed on scraps of food scavenged from dumpsters and garbage cans. Of course it's not healthy for a human being, either. But human beings can apply for social services or get some kind of work, however poor . . . a dog cannot. It's dependent upon the person who owns it.

In today's Oregonian, columnist S. Renee Mitchell addresses the "problem" of what author George L. Kelling calls, the "will-nots" of street people, into which - in her opinion - most street kids fall:

"The 'have-nots' are temporarily homeless and their problems can be solved with social services. The 'cannots' are veterans or folks who suffer from mental illness or substance abuse. They deserve compassion because they cannot fix their own issues. The 'will-nots' are street hustlers by choice."

While I think that Mitchell is being simplistic in assigning all street kids to the 'will-nots' category (there are obviously some who fall into the other two categories as well), anyone falling into any of the three categories and barely able to manage for themselves should think long and hard before taking on the responsibility of a pet.

Mitchell OREGONIAN Column:
 http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/108617744525180.xml

Oregon Forum asks: How would you solve the problem? (discussions)
 http://www.oregonlive.com/forums/portland/

PimplePoppingMitchell 02.Jun.2004 12:21

StJ

I thought Mitchell's column was off base. She judges this group of people by their appearance, she never really notes any behavioral issues that scared her friend. How about the "gangbanga" types dealing on the north end of the bus mall ? Not so scary to tourists ?

makes it seem simple 02.Jun.2004 12:38

evo

it is not as simple as you think to get a job or social care if you are homeless and seeking it. i know this not because i have been homeless, but because i have been a social worker and have had many friends who are or were homeless at one point. you can't just one day choose to get a job and it happens. especially around portland. it's often difficult to get a job here even if you are not homeless. and social services are only good if the government is willing to fund them and the social workers aren't too jaded to deal with the same issues over and over again. as for the dogs, i agree that it is irresponsible and unreasonable to take on caring for an animal if you are struggling just to support yourself. i have mixed feelings about anyone having animals as pets anyway. i guess dogs and cats have been domesticated over time and often are somewhat reliant on humans for their survival, but i often feel they'd be just as well off on their own, as long as humans weren't around to kill them with their cars and poisons and such. i also don't think that eating out of a dumpster is the worst thing in the world. i've often done it as a source of cheap food. our immune systems are pretty good and we eat all kinds of germs anyway, dumpster or not. humans are just obsessed with cleanliness and thinking they need to be more civilized than each other and other animals. anyway, i mostly agree with what you are saying, i just wanted to bring up some other points and maybe see what others have to say.

over and out
evolution

aw . . .the cute little doggies 02.Jun.2004 13:28

Justin

While I agree that irresponsible companions of animals should be beaten with rolled-up newspapers and forced to walk around leashed to a "master", it's way off base to claim that it's neither healthy nor natural for a dog to live off of scraps--they are scavengers, after all. That doesn't mean that I want my two (rescued) dogs scavenging for their food--I can afford to feed them high-quality food, so I do, even when it means I don't get to drink beer for the rest of the month. But if the shit hits the fan and I end up eating out of dumpsters myself, I truly think my dogs'll be fine eating out of the dumpster right along with me. You ever watched a dog roll in and then eat carrion along the side of a trail? Fucking disgusting, but entirely natural. Let's also not forget that dogs eat shit. Dumpster-dived food is gourmet, by comparison . . .

Oh, and death to all, destitute and rich alike, who abandon any animal they have taken as a companion!

but don't forget some good reasons for those dogs.. 02.Jun.2004 13:35

me and you?

i have known many many homeless/travelling kids who get constantly fucked with, not only by the cops and "the system", but by other homeless or travelling kids. these kids tend to be female, queer, or smaller males, and in addition to the survival issues inherant in homelessness, they are faced with additional struggles for their personal safety- rape, assault, robberies.....although it is far from a perfect world solution, a dog (espcially a nice and scary looking one) often alleviates the fear and reality of these problems. which is not to condone adopting an animal you can't necesarily care for, but to ask others to recognize that often these animals serve as the only or best protection some of these kids have.

i didn't think of that 02.Jun.2004 13:43

evo

it does suck that sometimes our only brothers and sisters out there are the dogs. i've never seen anybody get raped by a dog. people have been murdered by dogs, but it still seems to me that dogs can even be more civilized than people. like perry farrell said in that song years ago "we'd make great pets". maybe he was right. more seriously, luckily i have friends that i love and can trust. but there are many people who can trust their dogs more than their friends. sad but true. dogs are rad.

evolution

aw . . .the cute little doggies 02.Jun.2004 14:02

Justin

While I agree that irresponsible companions of animals should be beaten with rolled-up newspapers and forced to walk around leashed to a "master", it's way off base to claim that it's neither healthy nor natural for a dog to live off of scraps--they are scavengers, after all. That doesn't mean that I want my two (rescued) dogs scavenging for their food--I can afford to feed them high-quality food, so I do, even when it means I don't get to drink beer for the rest of the month. But if the shit hits the fan and I end up eating out of dumpsters myself, I truly think my dogs'll be fine eating out of the dumpster right along with me. You ever watched a dog roll in and then eat carrion along the side of a trail? Fucking disgusting, but entirely natural. Let's also not forget that dogs eat shit. Dumpster-dived food is gourmet, by comparison . . .

Oh, and death to all, destitute and rich alike, who abandon any animal they have taken as a companion!

umm... 02.Jun.2004 15:54

this thing here

yes, dogs are pets. no, dogs are not helpless infants who could not live without human help. dogs are wild animals. so are cats. ever seen shows about the ferral cats of spain? let's just say that the cats didn't give a shit about us humans, cause they had their own thing going. is it so crazy to assume that dogs can be ferral too, taking care of themselves without being dependent on man? dogs are tough, they can deal.

is the dog obviously starving? is it being mistreated? is it plainly injured? then get help for it quickly. otherwise, i would worry more about the welfare of the street kids than the dogs.

People care more about animals than humans, it seems 02.Jun.2004 16:07

GRINGO STARS

Why does the corporate media care oh so much about animals yet have a heartless attitude towards certain humans?

The fact is that having a dog or cat brings in a LOT more money when asking for spare change. And pets provide some much-needed unconditional love and emotional support, providing a reason to get through tough times. Having an animal depend on you is an emboldening feeling (not that animals are truly dependant on humans, literally).

Maybe some of that concern about the welfare of street animals should be reserved for street humans? Just a thought.

well said 02.Jun.2004 16:20

evo

well said, gringo starr. most of the stuff that the news covers or that people take the time to be concerned about (sports, for example) isn't all that important in the big picture. things like this are a nice distraction to talk about because they are less serious or controversial and don't require a lot of uncomfortable thoughts going through our heads. it's easier to argue a news story about dogs than it is to argue one about homeless people because even though we care about homeless people, how many of us are willing to actually get up and do something about it? it makes us feel bad when we realize that we aren't. we'd rather just walk by and ignore someone, and that makes us feel bad about ourselves.

evolution

Violence 02.Jun.2004 18:09

Phred

"'But no one in City Hall is addressing a key issue that could make all of those efforts for naught: A perception that downtown Portland is unsafe.

"This has a real important impact on our economic vitality," D'Alessandro says. "I am concerned that if we don't figure out a way to address the issue, we could suffer from it long-term. It takes a long time to rebuild your reputation once it's damaged."

The "will-nots" -- who can afford to take care of a dog but can't buy themselves lunch -- don't need our money or sympathy. They need to be prevented from scaring tourists and sabotaging our city's reputation in the process.
And Portland needs a mayor with the backbone to make that happen"

I agree with this. Do you want to be able to walk downtown knowing youre safe or that you might get raped or bitten by a rabid dog? Being too PC kind to people who basically like to take advantage will not only make them more bold and dependent on you but it will also attract others to Portland of the same mind through word of mouth. Soon Portland will get the picture that they have to live in the burbs cuz downtown/inner PDX is too scary and crimeinfested and so there goes another wetland or mountainside to McNeighborhood. This is why American suburbs expand so rapidly devouring farms and wilderness. Youve got to make the choice. Do you want sprawl or do you want a livable inner Portland? As a treehugger to me the choice is obvious.

kids and dogs 02.Jun.2004 18:24

advocate

First of, the original author says that homeless youth don't have bigger problems yet to deal with yet like "life-threatening health problems." What about HIV? And Hepatitis? And Tuberculosis? And depression and other mental health problems that are not treated due to lack of services? It's true that people can survive on scraps, but I gotta tell you, I don't think that those surviving on scraps are the healthiest bunch of kids out there.

As for the issue of dogs, I agree with gringo that we should not be reserving all of our care and concern for animals when they are clearly sitting next to a person who has problems that a few coins may only reach the surface of. I also agree with his point that animals provide a sense of love and security to homeless youth that they may never have experienced before. In my work with homeless youth I have come to believe that the single biggest reason that kids leave home is due to lack of love at home. Some may find that simplisitic and ask what does that really mean, but I think that fundamentally if there had been someone caring properly for most of the kids you see on the street they wouldn't have ended up there. It's hard to imagine it myself, as I grew up with love and still have it at my fingertips, within arms reach in all directions. But for a street youth, the love of a dog may be the closest thing they've had to real love that they can trust in a long time. Many have lost their sense of trust in people, and for good reason, and turning to animal friends may be the difference between a depression that exascerbates a substance abuse problem or a suicidal depression. And I think most dogs would rather starve with their person than be left by their person, so let them be.

And to the people who wish harm on those who abandon an animal: it's kind of hypocritical, don't you think?

now the dogs are necessarily violent? come on. 02.Jun.2004 18:44

advocate

I think Phred has just subscribed to the generalizing and fear-mongering that the author of that stupid article adheres to. Really, how does panhandling equate to violence? How does having a dog but not a home equate to violence? Why are homeless youth with dogs suddenly being blamed for the so-called violence on the streets of downtown business districts? How dangerous is it really? Anyone got the crimemapper stats? What makes you think that the dogs of homeless people are rabid and ready to attack you? What does being raped have to do with kids with dogs? Do you honestly believe that homeless kids have dogs so they can train them to hold down a victim while they are raped? WTF? I suppose this all comes back to the sit-lie ordinance, which seems to be what the author of the Oregonian article was really going for, since she's displeased that Katz is no longer pushing it as heavily. How can you be a tree-hugger and subscribe to the business over people attitude of the Portland Business Alliance?

Advocate 02.Jun.2004 19:26

Phred

I am a tree hugger first and foremost because trees are totally defenseless. People can move or improve or whatever. I was the victim of a major crime by a street kid downtown 2 years ago who is now serving 8 years for it. Me? I'll be suffering the consequences for several years. It almost wiped me out. So dont tell me these people are harmless! They also hustle ya for change and drugs etc which can be very bothersome. I dont know if youre a woman but the threat of rape is very real and possible with transients.
But I also argue with pro-sprawl/ pro-highway assholes all the time about downtown who are ALWAYS saying how they would never go downtown and how appalled they are by all the "riff-raff" homeless etc. One tourist even said how she thought it was out of control.
Its all about PERCEPTION. Broken windows lead to more broken windows.

Yeah, when it comes to the choice of trees or people I will take the trees cuz that's what it comes down to in the long run. Think about it. People can move, trees cant! You can NOT have it both ways. The yuppies with the money are going to live either downtown/inner Portland close to white collar jobs or in wilderness destroying McNeighborhoods commuting 50 miles a day in their fukkin polluting Suburbans. WHere do you want them to live?

Those dogs by the way are usually pitbull/mixes which are scary for a lot of people. I love all dogs but I hate pitbull owners. Most of the time they get them for macho value only. Of course the dogs suffer as a result.

classist bullshit, really 02.Jun.2004 19:33

homeless kid

The presumption that homeless people shouldn't be 'allowed' to have dogs would be ridiculous if it wasn't a very common one. There have always been vagabonds and as long as there have been domesticated animals there have been dogs that travelled with vagabonds.
I know a lot of people who are homeless and have dogs, and I know a lot of people who have houses and have dogs. I've seen the homeless dogs as better trained, better behaved, and more importantly, better treated. Most of the homeless youth I know give the best of the leftovers they are given to their dog and eat their dog's scraps.
I question the idea that people who have 9-5 jobs [well, really, usually, 7am-8pm jobs] are up to caring for their dogs. Dogs need attention and they need room to move.
But homeless youth are often threatened to have their dogs taken away. Often, their dogs -are- taken away. If you're hitchhiking alone, with a dog, [a much safer choice for women, in this country anyway], and you're arrested, the dog will often be given to a shelter, where it will usually be killed.
Of course you need to think about whether or not you can handle a 15 year responsibilty when you decide to get a puppy. But i'm just irritated to no end by people who are trying to make those decisions for homeless people.

why people get pitbulls 02.Jun.2004 19:45

homeless kid

homeless people don't get pitbulls for macho value. homeless people get pitbulls because pitbulls are the ideal dog to be homeless with. why?
pitbulls are very loyal to their caretakers, and for the most part get along well with people. they get along better with people than dogs, unfortunatly.
pitbulls are a very real defense, despite being small. If you aren't threatening towards the dog's human companion, they are kind and loving, but serve as an actual detterent.
If people hop freight trains, pitbulls have short enough legs to manage without much risk of broken legs, and are light enough to be carried.
pitbulls train well.

as for the idea that because a street kid commited a crime against you, street kids are dangerous, fuck you. did you pay attention in high school about that non-prejudice thing? it's people in suits who tell everyone to cut down all the forests, but I try not to prejudice against every man in a suit. it's a dangerous world, some people are violent. most people arent. The violent ones can be jocks or suits or street kids or rednecks of gangsters or anything.

Homeless kid 02.Jun.2004 19:49

Phred

Do the street kids get those dogs innoculated for everything including rabies? Do they care if they spread diseases to other dogs? Do they clean up their messes downtown? Do they give them regular grooming and flea protection? Do they take them to the vet when they get sick or injured? Do they abandon them when they cant take them with them or lose them in one of their daily moves or goes to jail?

H.Kid 02.Jun.2004 20:03

Phred

Fuck you! I dont wear a suit and I am not a yuppie. And I did get assaulted by a fukkin street kid. So take your sorry panhandling ass out to the suburbs to scare off the yuppies there. Given the choice between people with 2 legs and a will and the disappearing wilderness I will take the wilderness. Fuck you.

to Phred the human-hating "treehugger" 02.Jun.2004 20:31

GRINGO STARS

I have never once heard an environmentalist who called themselves a "treehugger" but maybe I just don't know. Maybe I do.

Your statement about homeless rapists is way off the mark. Women should fear people they are acquainted with, rather than strangers, if we are to believe the statistics of rape. Maybe you should try basing your fears on reality, concerning rape.

You say you were attacked by a street kid. You sound as if you are anti-human and pro-tree. "Phred", I suggest reading Diogenes and living on the outskirts of a city, far away from those horrible HUMANS, just like Diogenes did. Diogenes created the "cynic" school of philosophy. By the way, he was a homeless philosopher who lived with a pack of homeless dogs. By the sounds of it, both humanity and you would be most happy seperated for good. Go live with the trees.

Concern for One Thing Doesn't Negate Concern for the Other 02.Jun.2004 21:25

Curious George

Homeless Kid - good for you. Your description of Pit Bulls is right on. I've owned these dogs and related bull and terrier breeds for many years and the well bred dogs are people lovers first - especially kids. From puppyhood they prefer the company of humans to that of other dogs. As they mature, they can become testy with dogs they don't know. With people, they are sensible and will only respond with force when there's a real threat to their human companions.

Gringo - I don't think the writer's concern for the welfare of the dogs necessarily translates into less or no concern for the street kids associated with them. That's a leap that I don't usually see you taking in your normally sensible posts. I see some concern in the post's language (although this was obviously not a post about street kids so much as about their dogs), although there's not a smidgin of heart in Mitchell's article which objectifies and lumps the street kids and their dogs into some nebulous, threatening force on the streets of downtown Portland. That's ridiculous.

The human/animal bond between a human being and a dog has been proven beneficial over and over. Witness the Dove Lewis Pet Assisted Therapy program where volunteers take dogs where people cannot have any more than an occasional visit from companion animals. It is beneficial to people to associate with pets; for many it is the only way they can enjoy unconditional acceptance and love. However, don't forget that the control in this equation is all on the part of the human. The human has language, options, and responsibilities that the dog does not. Keeping a dog as a companion is a commitment and I do agree with whoever said that where you live is no guarantee that you are qualified to bring any sort of companion animal into your home - "companion" being the key word. Many of the middle or upper class seem to be looking for an "ornament", a "trophy", even a semblance of a stuffed animal that can be put away when it is inconvenient for them to interact with it. In that respect, the dog who lives with a street person is likely to have a better rapport with that human than many suburbanites.

My concern is that, if these street kids don't know that their dogs need to be vaccinated and licensed (among other things) they're giving the police another reason to take the animals away from them and slap a fine on them as well.

Almost every group I know of has, at one time or another, put out a handbook or guide. Sometimes these are cheap and dirty but they can help everybody. Does Outside Inn or anyone else publish a self-help guide for street kids? If they do, maybe they should think about including a couple of paragraphs on pets -- licensing, vaccination (the legal stuff), which clinics offer discounts or free services to them, how to protect their companions from heatstroke and frostbite (carrying a towel to soak in water at a fountain and a collapsible water bowl or even plastic produce sacks that could be filled with water) might be a handy way to hydrate or cool down a pet. The plastic bags could also be used to scoop up sidewalk poop and toss it. The aim is to make dog ownership bulletproof, legal, and as helpful as possible.

While I'm not sure I believe that a street kid would let the dog eat first and then be satisfied with the scraps it leaves (I don't personally know any dog that would LEAVE scraps), someone who is looking out for their four- as well as their two-footed friends on the road has a right to have both.

for the record 02.Jun.2004 22:34

mom

there are a number of free dog clinics held periodically in this city. Veternarians donate their time and supplies. "Street kids" along with other poor folk with pets take advantage of these services. Being poor or homeless does not make anyone a bad owner or criminal rapist. Neither does wearing a suit. I have to admit however, I am more cautious of "suits" than street folks.

Travels with Lizbeth 03.Jun.2004 01:56

northeast girl

Read "Travels with Lizbeth," the brilliant memoir by Lars Eighner from Austin, and you will never again think of homeless people with dogs, with anything less than compassionate understanding. You could also read Steinbeck's "Travels with Charlie."

I saw a woman hug a tree once 03.Jun.2004 02:53

-

She hugged it for at least five minutes. Probably longer, since I left the area before she did. I didn't know they existed until that day.

Downtown Portland 03.Jun.2004 16:24

George Bender

I lived in Portland for 9 years, and spent quite a bit of time downtown because that's where most of the interesting stuff is. I noticed the homeless kids, and other homeless people, and sometimes felt annoyed by the begging, but don't remember ever feeling threatened by them. People need to do a reality check about their fear of others who are different. We can't all be middle-class, although a lot of middle-class people don't believe this. Homeless kids are not responsible for your "perceptions."

Also we all, including me, tend to over-generalize. Just because you have a bad experience with one person doesn't mean that all people of that class are bad or a threat.

The middle class is a lot bigger threat to me than poor people. The middle-class is paying people like me too little to live on, while cutting our safety net programs. I welcome any opportunity to return the favor, like supporting Ralph Nader.


Wheres your priorities 03.Jun.2004 21:06

Animal lover

First of all, I am am animal lover. My comment is that I find it funny how Yuppies can be more concerned about dogs than children. They both deserve our love and attention. If I saw a comment about how we can help homeless kids, I think I would fall over in shock, but unfortunately the dogs get more attention than the kids who are taking care of them.

Read Before Posting 03.Jun.2004 22:02

Curious George

Animal lover, you didn't even bother to read my last post, did you?

Curious George, I agree with you. And 04.Jun.2004 19:43

+

the rest of you meat eaters--you're blind if you actually believe that this culture cares more about animals than any human at all. 16-23 billion are killed in the US each year for food, and their lives are miserable from birth to death; and OHSU tortures all kinds of animals in their labs. If humans in this culture were routinely taken away from their mothers at birth, thrown in wire cages, or restrained by leash and crate on a farm, and allowed to live only for the products of their bodies, after which they go like widgets on the assembly line of the slaughter house, you would be screaming in the streets. The lowliest person in our society has more choices, and is given more value that they are. People do not care more about animals than people. If people actually cared about animals, they wouldn't be factory farming, slaughtering, and eating them. "Animal lover"--do you eat them?

Most of you are in no position to judge how valued animals are in this culture (they aren't)--because you don't value them yourselves. Yes, you think you do, but your attitudes and actions betray you. I challenge you to go to PETA's site and watch Meet Your Meat. Go to www.cok.net and read about the free range myth. Go to www.veganoutreach.com and read the section about how animals are made into food.
care and concern in the lab
care and concern in the lab
care and concern on the farm
care and concern on the farm
cats are so vaued their spines are broken in labs
cats are so vaued their spines are broken in labs

was a street kid 22.Oct.2006 00:19

it's just me

I was homeless on the portland streets, and I have to honestly say that no one is a will not down there. at one point, the life becomes so addicting and simple, or you begin to abuse drugs, that you become a cannot or have not. these sre the wrong categories anyways. it goes, the bums, the smellies, the PSK, the gangs, the gutterpunks, and the loners. there are even some of the kids that you speak of that go home every night and eat dinner with their parents. most of them hae been abused, many of them have no choice., they are far from home and greyhound doesn't really help, neither does social services. they place these kids in neglecting foster homes (some don't neglect, but I was in all te one's that did.). in short, this life is not a matter of will not or have not or cannot, but it is an alternative lifestyle compared to your comfortable chairs and nice television sets awaiting you this evening. next time you walk by one of these kids and their dog, stop thinking they are bums or trash. think about the way you slept last night, in your bed. they had no bed to go to. probably a bridge or a bush covered area, if they slept at all. think about the meal you just ate, and realize they eat out of the trash and scrounge what change they can get to buy a warm meal. realize that for every 1 kid out ther that is a run away, or over eighteen and getting sservices from programs made for these kids, there are 8 kids who got kicked out, are underage, and can't get help from said services. I was one of them. don't downtalk us, we survive. we get up on our feet and can say that we survived bieng the world trash. all you can say is you finished school and got a job, and have a beautiful family. I can say I survived up to a week with no food and sleep, drinking water and eating stale bread, travelling.
it's a tough life out there, make the wrong move and those kids are dead. not hurt, not sad, DEAD. maybe you should think before you speak. I challenge the lady who wrote in the Oregonian to go live on those streets for one whole week, taking nothing from home, no mney in your pocket, just the clothes off your back. see if you can survive the cold rainy nights and the hot sweltering days. the pets keep them company, and those dogs are more faithful and obedient than any housepet. and believe it or not, all dogs don't need dogfood. they were hunters once, too. they know how to scavenge. without my dog to show me how to get to the ER and tell me wether food was past bad or not, I could have died. and don't worry, they treat their pets well. doo you see them without leashes or collars? are they pissing on the sidewalk? are they chasing other people in these busy transit centers, or barking, like a housepet would? nope.
I hope I'm not bieng too harsh, it's just that we get classified so much as lazy, or poor, or tragic. in most cases, those kids are just stuck. if every family in portland took in one street kid for one night, gave them a shower, put ten bucks in thier pocket, and let them get a good nights rest, you'd have less problems. lol.
My name is Nikol, I was a Portland Street Kid, and I will never be classified as a WIL NOT. you, m'amm, are a will not, as in will not open your heart or mind.
nuff said.
p.s. pardon the typos. if you want more info on how to help these kids, contact New Avenues For the Youth or the Outside In shelter. they helped me. and now I am a mom of one and a wide, with my own home and business.
now what is the Oregonian gonna do for these kids, huh? why complain if your gonna sit there and donothing for them?
again, apologies if I seem mean, this made me very angry.

for the person who saw a lady hug a tree, 22.Oct.2006 00:34

crie

what did she look like, probably was me.
in short, homeless people take better care of thier dogs, hide from suits they are scary. some street kids are evil and mean, most are not. hug trees, it is good for your soul and thiers. seriously.an enviromentalist who has never been homeless is not an enviromentalist at all (electricity, gas, water people!)
and anyone who thinks social services will help, ha, go there and try without an ID, SSI card, phone number or adress. ha. they literally will laugh at you. enjoy your day, I love all of you, except phred. you bigot, suit wearing mongrel. go eat out of a dumpster and see how it feel, prick.