“Friends are the only family you get to choose” is something Zaq said after signing me a song. Last night I went for a walk down Hollywood Blvd to hand out socks and make new friends. I have taken this walk many times, but last night was special. Not simply because it was Thanksgiving, but because I ran into 15 hippie kids living on a bus.
As with all street kids, there seems to be an innocence, hardness, and maturity. I gave them socks, which are known to street kids as “freshies”, and in return, Zaq wanted to sing me a song. When most of the kids started to sing the chorus I asked them to start over and pulled out my camera.
“If you surround yourself with things you like how can you go wrong” is another nugget of wisdom Zaq shared during this interview. I ran into these kids a few times last night and each time they were all happy. I didn’t ask about their history or their families. I already know 40% of homeless youth are never even reported missing. Most are “throwaways”. For this one night, I wanted to join with their youthful fantasy that as long as they have each other everything will be all right.
If you happen to run into street kids, maybe even these 15 hippie kids in a bus, please love on them. Many have already lived horrible lives and are just trying to survive in our crazy world. Yes, street kids can be obnoxious. But remember they are kids. I’m sure we all had our dumb youthful moments. Please don’t try and be a parent – just be a friend. Treat them with love and respect, ask them what they need, and if you can help then please do. A little love can make a world of difference.