Street Youth Outreach

Lost Boys

While Chella sewed her pants with floss and Shawn Paul brushed his teeth with coconut oil, Zen’s voice and guitar broke out in a song called "Lost Boys." I had never heard these lyrics before, but they seemed to resound substantially with these three travelers as they spent their first few nights in Santa Barbara. To give you a taste:

“Neverland is home to lost boys like me

And lost boys like me are free. . .     

He sprinkled me in pixie dust and told me to believe     

Believe in him and believe in me. . .     

As we soared above the town that never loved me     

I realized I finally had a family”

If the home I was given doesn’t want me, then I’ll find my own family- people who want me and believe in me, right? These three have only been traveling together for a few weeks, but are already taking care of each other and sharing all of their belongings. These self proclaimed “dirty kids” have a strong community of simple and free living.       

Through extended outreach efforts, I have been able to learn more about this "street youth" culture and what kind of support people like Zen and Chella want. As we enter into the summer months, we have an outreach team of six volunteers, which allows for multiple outings a week. Beginning this Friday, we’ll have a “coordinated outreach team” round table meeting where we’ll review our online case management database to compare notes on encounters with street youth and what our next steps should be. We’ll meet every other week to maintain effectiveness and think collectively. We know that our increased time on the streets has helped guide this initiative and we are eager to maintain our momentum.

Thank you for your continued care and willingness to engage creatively with these initiatives!