Give Them a Job
I feel the kids on the streets (“It Takes a Village,” 10/3/13) are there for more than one reason. They can blame their parents, society, whatever they choose, but they want their independence. They will sacrifice food, warmth, shelter… whatever, sometimes, to gain that independence. It’s also a part of rebellion. True, I had a father who was not kind to me, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t have left home had I been of the age to do so.
I think a solution is that truly they do want recognition. A need to be “needed” and “of importance” to someone, anyone. If they are going to be on the streets, maybe they could use a job. Perhaps a “sidewalk deputy” of some sort. They could report to the police, have a special code number they can use on a pay phone, and be rewarded with meals, a night in a hotel (to see what normal feels like again with a clean bed and shower) and even a movie ticket. They could become the “eyes” of Spokane, not only to report crime, but needs of areas and neighborhoods regarding security.
Now, that’s a need? Not enough police force in Spokane, I have read. If they felt they were “upholding” the law, maybe they would become peacemakers, law-abiding citizens of importance.
Judith A. Yancey